Leverage Different Perspectives

Published Feb 20, 2023

We’re different and thats ok

During breakfast with my sister, we had a fascinating conversation about how we approach tasks. She's a structured thinker, methodical in her planning, and likes to follow transparent steps before implementation. On the other hand, I'm more open to exploring various options, analysing possibilities, experimenting, and improvising to find the best solution.

We all have these mental processes which play a crucial role in our lives. Neither approach is right nor wrong; it's a matter of preference. These preferences may be why we are suited to specific work-related positions.

For instance, my sister has always excelled in structured roles that require planning, processes, and systems, such as administration and legal work. Currently, she's a learning and assessment designer in a large organisation.

On the other hand, I've thrived in people-facing roles and unstructured work environments, such as managerial, area development, and training. Although there are still requirements for processes, the nature of the job is unpredictable, and I enjoy problem-solving on the fly.

One of the critical areas of development I believe the world lacks today is understanding other people. As a result, we can create misinterpretations and assumptions. We quickly jump to conclusions if we disagree with them or consider that we may be superior. In truth, we aren't. We are the presentation of our inner programming. The better we can understand others, the better leaders and influencers we will be in our pursuit forward.

So which one are you?

A Procedure Orientated Person

Does this sound like you?

-Hey, it's simple, do it this way or that way; which one? I do it like this!
-Before we begin, let's outline what needs to be done.
-Ok, save the whole storytelling; get to the juicy bits!
-We must be at the entrance at 12:00 pm, no later.

Process-oriented individuals may prefer to follow established rules or procedures and may be less comfortable with uncertainty or change. They tend to focus more on ensuring things are done correctly and efficiently rather than exploring alternative possibilities.

Some Traits:

  • Detail-oriented and precise
  • Prefer a set of established rules or procedures to follow
  • Like to have a clear and predictable path to follow
  • Value efficiency and getting things done right the first time
  • Organised and methodical
  • Prefer structure and routine
  • Able to follow through on tasks until completion
  • May struggle with ambiguity or change
  • Strong focus on accuracy and precision

An Options Orientated Person

Does this sound like you?

-Let's go and do it; we can live in the moment and take it as it comes.
-I can't decide right now; let me think about it. I'm open to the idea, in any case!
-I'm going to try it myself; I know he mentioned it, but I want to try it myself.
-I can't follow those rules; we can make new and better ones.

Options-oriented individuals often approach problems with a "what if" mindset, asking questions like "what if we tried this instead?" or "what other options do we have?" They tend to value flexibility and are willing to experiment and try new approaches to find the best solution.

Some Traits:

  • Open-minded and curious
  • Comfortable with change and uncertainty
  • Willing to take risks and try new things
  • Creative and imaginative
  • Able to see the big picture and explore multiple possibilities
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Valuing variety and novelty
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Comfortable with ambiguity

4 Benefits of knowing which you are

It's important to note that neither approach is inherently better nor worse than the other; it's a matter of personal preference and the situation's needs. By understanding your preferences and those of others, we can communicate more effectively and work together more successfully to achieve our goals.

1) Self-awareness

Identify areas where you excel and areas where you may need to improve. This can help you set goals for your personal development and identify ways to leverage your strengths to achieve your objectives.

2) Learning

Identify areas where you may be biased or limited in your thinking. This can help you be more open to new ideas and approaches and be more receptive to feedback and constructive criticism.

3) Communication

Communicate more effectively with others. For example, if you tend to be options-oriented, you may need to provide more detail and context to a process-oriented person and vice versa. Avoid misunderstandings and improve collaboration.

4) Leadership

By understanding your strengths and limitations, you can better delegate tasks to others with complementary strengths. You can also be more effective in motivating and engaging your team members by tailoring your leadership style to their preferences.

Example application in the real world

Professional World

  • Clash in decision-making during organisational change. Option-oriented members may want to experiment with new strategies, while procedure-oriented members may want to stick to the established plan.
  • Clash in communication styles. Option-oriented people prefer informal and casual communication, while procedure-oriented people prefer more formal and structured communication.
  • Clash in training and development approaches. Option-oriented people prefer on-the-job learning and experimentation, while procedure-oriented people prefer structured training programs and certifications.

Personal World

  • Clash in travel planning among friends. Option-oriented members prioritise spontaneity and adventure, while procedure-oriented members prefer a more structured itinerary.
  • Clash in family decision-making. Some family members prioritise tradition and routine, while others prefer variety and novelty.
  • Clash in personal finance management. Option-oriented people may prioritise investing and taking risks, while procedure-oriented people may prioritise saving and following a strict budget.

We generally favour one over the other; however, your preferences may change with the situation. For example, we may need to be procedural in getting the children ready for school and become entirely Options oriented when we arrive at work.

So, whether you're a structured thinker or an open-minded explorer like me, remember that both approaches are valuable and necessary. The key is recognising your preference to amplify your ability to shine.

When you're ready, here's how we help you:

A Purposeful Path Workshop
A powerful workshop to get you aligned with your connected path. With a deeper appreciation for who you are explore what beings you a sense of meaning. Find Out More.
Compass Of Life Course - Navigate The Choas
A self-paced course designed to build your inner compass and navigate life with complete certainty. Wield your most powerful tool and lead your life - Register interest
1:1 Sessions - Hire A People-Centric Coach
Often, inner constraints are expressed differently and never reveal the actual problem; it can be frustrating - Get yourself back on the path of progress.

Anks Patel

Founder, Growth Coach, People Developer, Strategist,Unconventional Thinker, Aligner, Clarifier


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