Identifying Relevant Differences To Include In Your Teamwork & Thinking Processes
Dive in by watching this video, followed by key concepts and practice below:
Sometimes the most relevant differences are right in front of our noses.
Digging into the stories of the people we already work with can help us suss out where different perspectives and heuristics are already here—and give people permission to express them.
Often, though, we need to hunt for people who see things differently than us—especially when we’ve been working together with the same people for a long time, and have started to converge around similar perspectives.
Gathering more perspectives is always ultimately useful. Even “incorrect” ideas can help show us what we don’t see, or to point us in new directions we hadn’t looked before.
Even less-relevant cognitive diversity helps us explore more of “Problem Mountain,” because in between good and bad ideas are often ideas we’ve never considered.
But if you’re short on time, or trying to be targeted about finding relevant cognitive diversity, there are a couple good rules of thumb when it comes to seeking relevant perspectives:
Always tap into the perspectives of any group that will be affected by the solution to the problem you’re trying to solve. Don’t leave out those who will be impacted by what you’re working on.
Search for honest dissenters—people who legitimately disagree with you, and invite their perspectives into any important problem-solving process. We’ll talk more about this later.
It’s often more effective to tap into different thinking in 1-on-1 settings vs. group settings. In a 1-on-1 setting, you can potentially go deeper into unexplored territory and make people feel safer, because they won’t have to worry about what the rest of the group will think if they express a perspective or share a thought that isn’t quite mainstream.