Experience is the Best Teacher

deliveryHow do you learn to appreciate the different perspectives and styles that everyone brings to your team? One presenter used this short exercise to jumpstart a discussion of differences and preferences among her team members.

She started by asking everyone to take out a sheet of paper and sign their name. Then she asked the group to throw out adjectives describing how it felt when they did that. People responded with words like "easy" "normal" or "comfortable."

Then she asked them to sign their name with their non-dominant hand. Again she asked the group for adjectives to describe how it felt. This time, they responded with words like "difficult" "weird" "uncomfortable" or "abnormal."

After a brief discussion, she asked the group if they were able to get at least something written, even if it wasn't legible. Almost everyone did. She then likened the exercise to the differences in working styles in the room. We all have the potential to work in different ways, but we are all born with preferences. There is no right or wrong style; there is only right and left.

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