The Mystery of Differences: Part 4 of 4
Understanding the Need to Blend

When you understand yourself and understand others around you, take one more step in order to build healthy relationships amidst differences.

The need to blend is part of the process

Jamie had meetings today with two key members of his team. Each of these two meetings would be conducted very differently from each other – and from how Jamie had conducted those meetings in the past.

man using magnifying glass to follow arrowThe last time he’d met with Chris to outline this quarter’s sales plan, he’d provided charts, trends, and new product data. But he’d sensed Chris’ impatience. “I helped you put that information together, Jamie,” Chris said, tapping his pencil and shifting in his seat. “Just tell me what you want me to do.” Chris simply needed an objective. He wanted figure out how to get there on his own.

Jamie’s last meeting with Kim had been altogether different. He’d used the same presentation. Even though Kim, too, had contributed to the report, she asked half a dozen questions about Jamie’s expectations and how he wanted her to meet those expectations. Clearly, Kim felt unsure about how to carry out what Jamie asked.

Understand the need to blend

Jamie was serious about solving the mystery of differences in his employees. He had intentionally sought out clues to understand Chris and Kim, and realized they received messages differently. If Jamie could communicate with each in a way easiest for them to receive, then both of these extremely skilled employees would flourish. So Jamie made adjustments.

Chris’ meeting was short and to the point. Jamie explained what needed to be done and gave Chris a basic system to follow, allowing Chris considerable opportunity to make his own decisions. But when Kim sat down in his office, Jamie took his time. He presented several different approaches she could use and why each one would get her to where she needed to go. Then Jamie gave Kim the opportunity to ask as many questions as she needed.

What happens when clues are used

“I had a great meeting with Jamie today,” Kim told Chris later in the lunchroom. “He really has improved at communicating.”

Chris nodded. “Yes, he has.”

Jamie happened to be around the corner and inadvertently heard the whole exchange. He smiled to himself. Understanding his employees’ strengths was already making a difference.

Growth Point

To blend differences with others, interact with purpose.

Scripture

There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (1 Corinthians 12:6, NIV)

Prayer Points

  • Collecting information and purposely putting it to use in relationships are two different steps. Why is it essential to understand the difference between the two?
  • What might be some factors that are holding you back right now from purposefully interacting with those around you?
  • List some ways you can look for and find clues about team members, employees, or family members.

Read the rest of series on the Mystery of Differences

The Mystery of Differences Part 1: Uncovering the Facts

The Mystery of Differences Part 2: Understanding Yourself First

The Mystery of Differences Part 3: Understanding Others