Written by Funmi Yusuf
Are you daft or do you just approach issues differently?

In a world of diversity where many internal and external influences come into play to define people’s characters and peculiarities; we are often still caught up in the confinement of expecting certain orthodox attitudes and behavioral patterns from the people around us.Many of us have been exposed to the knowledge and concept of diverse personalities hence the possibility of varied responses to situations yet majority are still wrapped in the limitation of expecting certain approaches from people when those people deal with issues.

With all the available expose on personality differences, nature & nurture influences, personal convictions etc. why then do we have so many misunderstandings amongst spouses, family members, colleagues, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and in the society as a whole? While there will always be clashes of interests when dealing with a matter because of the personality difference mentioned, I can safely say the graver quarrel emanates from one person expecting the other to behave in a certain way…suitable with his/her own preferences not putting into cognizance that the other individual is his own person, has his own influences, beliefs and preferences.

For example: While there are certain expectations at a workplace especially where it concerns carrying out a task as well as the results expected; we cannot rule out the fact that there will be different approaches to completing this task especially when it is a team involved. Will it then be fair to assume that all team members should engage the same thought process towards the task while we call the ones with a contrary stance daft?

I witnessed an argument between a couple over a trivia matter (as is always the case if you have noticed) and let’s just say the argument ended with the man calling the woman daft simply because she challenged a view of his. Now, he is a logic, fact & statistics oriented person who only does things by the books and she on the other hand is more conceptual and focuses on underlying principles. While he believes that things can only happen as statistics dictate, she believes anything is susceptible to change depending on who or why a change is being demanded.

Now are they both right? I will say most definitely YES, because we have seen both viewpoints play out in life over different subject matters. So should these different viewpoints cause one to refer to the other as daft? One may ask: How then can you get along in a society, marriage, home, office etc. with all the diverse influences and personalities at play? Because another truth is that there will even be more chaos if everyone does as he/she pleases.

But just like it is revealed in a team work, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, our preferences as well as woes. This causes us to approach issues differently and as is best comfortable to us. Therefore you find that a good manager will saddle each member of his team with the kind of task that tallies with their strengths for excellent and prompt response.

Even so, in other fronts we should take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our mates and family members and if possible, their personalities so we can deal with them in that light. Let each person handle a matter that he is best comfortable with and don’t expect a replica of yourself in everyone!

We should respect the fact that there are underlying reasons why people act or think the way they do. Therefore, if we can only step out of our cocoons, keep quiet and listen and give people the benefit of the doubt, we just might see some logic in their approach. While we can keep working to motivate one another and help each one face their fears or discomforts, we should never assume another person is a failure just because they are different from us!

God is too great to have made us all think, comprehend or act the same way! Mind you, the other person will also assume you are daft when it comes to other subject matters that you are either not knowledgeable of or approach with a contrary view.