On The Contrary
“Me too” and “why of course” lead to consensus but don’t give any acceleration or pressure on the boundaries of our work. There’s a purpose for diversity, it’s to help lead innovation and quality reasoning. Being agreeable is antithetical to diversity.
It’s OKAY to be a contrarian.
We all fear that we’ll be thrown out. That we’ll be an outcast because of going against the status quo. And outside a group we’ll be left to die. So we don’t speak up when we should.
Group dynamics do that to us. They make us more agreeable, they make people seem more attractive (the cheerleader affect) and they tend to polarize us more away from reason (politics).
In fact many people will find it interesting when you do something a different way, or have a new opinion, or stand up for yourself. The intriguing dinner guest is one that goes against convention.
Here are 7 ways to be a contrarian this week:
- Tell someone you don’t do meetings indoors and go for a walk.
- Try not drinking alcohol, at all, in 3 social gatherings.
- Make all of your texts phone calls instead.
- Ask your employer to convince you to quit your job.
- Ask a potential employer to convince you not to take the offer. Or an investor why you shouldn't take his investment.
- Don’t share any moments this weekend. Not on Facebook, not to friends or any others who aren’t there. When is the last time you looked at 4th of July photos anyways?
- Skip watching the big sports game, the latest hot TV show, or news story. Be clueless about it because you spent your time on a different hobby.
This isn’t meant to make you be contrarian for contrarians sake. The purpose is to practice and become comfortable enabling your ability to speak up and go against the group when you need to.