Saturday, August 22, 2009

Getting Comfortable with People who Make you Uncomfortable

I tweeted this article a few months back and thought it would be a great idea to summarize the article in English and translated it into Spanish at

Getting Comfortable with People who Make you Uncomfortable

This article gets an A+ from me right off the bat because I strongly identify with its first couple of sentences: "If you’re out to create something truly great, you’ll likely need to challenge some widely held — but incorrect — beliefs. Challenging conventional wisdom is much harder than most people realize, and those that do make us uncomfortable."

The article also says that, "It’s very challenging to make decisions based on your own information and logic when everyone disagrees with your point of view." And this is the basis that the article uses to suggest that you hire people who disagree and make you uncomfortable.

The suggested "Weird Ideas that Work" are:
  1. Identify your heroes
    Keep in mind that brilliant minds in the past have made everyone around them uncomfortable because of what they were trying to achieve.
  2. Adjust your hiring process to focus on what really matters
    "Spend more time thinking about interview-based experiments that you can run on candidates to test what really matters for the role and you might find yourself hiring a different type of person."
  3. If you have a negative reaction to an idea, use the 5 Whys
    Method to get at the root cause of a problem. Let's say your computer won't start. Ask yourself why. Battery ran out, ask yourself why. and on. Obviously you want to apply this to deeper problems.
  4. Consider increasing organizational diversity
    Diversity has greater potential for better results. Here, don't look for diversity in skin color. You want to concentrate on personality, cultural, and educational (among other) diversity.

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