Versatility

 

What do these individuals have in common?

 

Jack
Dempsey

Mannie Pacquaio

 

Mickey Mantle 

Eddie Murray 

 Larry “Chipper” Jones 

Pete Rose 

 Pete Rose 

 Robbie Alomar 

 

Lance Berkman 

 

 Bernie Williams 

 

Tim Raines 

 

Howard “HoJo” Johnson 

Carlos
Beltran

Larry Corcoran

 

Elton Chamberlain

 

Greg Harris

 

Tony Mullane

 

Moxie Manuel

 

 

They were all professional athletes, but in different sports. 

What else do they have in common?

They were all ambidextrous.  They could pitch, hit, or punch left or right handed.  In sports
that type of flexibility can give you a real advantage.  What about in business?  Sure. 

We spend our time focusing on what we know.  And we spend our time treating customers and employees in ways we feel comfortable.    What if we were to flex a different set up muscles?  What if we could treat others the way they preferred to be treated?   Well the best way we can is to become “Switch Hitters.” 

Switch Hitters can hit the ball right handed or left handed.  The reason for this is that right-handed batters hit better
against left-handed pitchers and vice-versa.   
Curveballs are more difficult to hit because they typically break away from batters of the same handedness as the pitchers they oppose.   Being a Switch-hitter can help you avoid this disadvantage and can provide a team advantage as well.  No matter how good Switch Hitters can hit, they customarily hit better from one side than the other.

What this tells us is that we as employees and leaders should choose complementary styles for
communication and problem solving to those we work with.  And it also tells us that while we can change
styles we will always have a preference.   However, the more we choose a style or preference
that is not our first choice the more comfortable we will become with that style over time.   Most importantly, we
will learn to interact with a broader audience, with a more diverse and inclusive style and we will become successful more consistently. 

How can I get started?

1.      Take a personality preference assessment like the Myers-Briggs, the Firo –B, or the
Thomas Kilman (TKI)

2.      Seek out a coach to help you work through the results (preferably one that is
trained to work with these assessments)

3.      Possibly combine the personality assessment feedback with a 360 to get a more
comprehensive and clear point of view

4.      Identify some relationships you may want to strengthen an determine how your preferences
may be helping or hindering you

5.      Create a plan to approach work or a person using a style different from your
preference

6.      Explain to those around you what you are doing and why

7.      Execute the plan

8.      Identify successes, challenges, and learning’s

9.     Adjust the plan and try again

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