I’ve written previously about how much I enjoy my current job. I happen to work in a very forward-thinking agency, and I happen to have a great relationship with my supervisor and the staff in my department.
Today, my supervisor commented that “we think so much alike” and that we tend to approach problems in a similar way. And yet, our strengths and weaknesses are slightly different, which allow us to complement each other’s thinking incredibly well.
There is tremendous value in being both in sync and somewhat out of sync with those we work with. We want to support each other’s learning and leading style in all that we do and at all that times. The benefit of complementary styles is that we can tend to predict what each other is thinking and can support each other in conversations and initiatives, and help troubleshoot effectively.
There is also tremendous value in being slightly out of sync. If our strengths and weaknesses are entirely the same, then we are likely to miss many opportunities to do new things, try things differently, and/or provide each other with feedback that could help us become ever better.
So, in a perfect world, we lead and learn with those who are both like us and not like us. We need to be in the equivalent of leading/learning dynamic equilibrium, this idea that we are in balance through constant imbalance.
I’m happy to have a relationship with my supervisor that so supports growth and constant improvement. As we move throughout our careers, and lives, it is important to find partners who are both our complements and opposites. That constant balance is what makes us most likely to see the improvement we all want.