Peeling off the Labels


A friend recently described herself as a recovering perfectionist, a deep thinking introvert who likes to be in control. Now, because I know her so well, seeing past those labels to someone who is also generous, compassionate and wise is easy. We readily re-label people we like.

If it's someone we don't yet know or don't trust, the temptation is to take the label and write them off as a hopeless case. After all, you already have all the information you need, so why bother looking for more?

Except that the labels are only descriptive through our own interpretation. A perfectionist might be overly fussy, or attentive to the little details that make all the difference. A reflective thinker may not give you an instant answer, but the thoughtful response could be better.

If you need or want a more productive relationship, it's far more useful is to ask yourself, 'How else can I think about this person?'.

Change your thinking, change your question, change the outcome.

Til next time

Jenny Magee



Trainer, coach and consultant, Jenny Magee (BEd, DipTchg, DipSLT) works with organizations to raise awareness of diversity in all its richness and has over 25 years experience as a champion of diverse workplaces and positive, productive partnerships.

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