Feel Stuck in Your Career? Find Your Opposite.

Something missing in your career? Feeling stagnant? Need a reboot?

Find your opposite.

So often, we look at our peers and colleagues as our competition, but what if they are there to compliment our style, teach us and learn from us throughout our career journey? Think about it; we become stuck, and instead of looking for new answers, we start to fear uncertainty, which spirals into insecurity. It stalls us out and moves into negative emotions, self-talk, and resistance.

We naturally like to work with people who think and act like us. They are easier to collaborate with, not to mention easier to manage. At work, we know we should collaborate. Still, in reality, we often need to move to consensus quickly to meet the business's demands, robbing us of the mind-expanding exercises we need to facilitate growth.

But what if we found a partner that didn't think like us? When we engage with them, we will begin to expect the unexpected, reducing the emotional reaction (the amygdala hijack) when they introduce the unexpected, even repelling ideas.

Why is this important? Just think about your meeting last week when that annoying colleague introduced an off-the-wall idea. How did your body react? What story did you start telling yourself about the idea? Did you give it a chance? Did you get curious and ask questions? Or did you just shut down? No time or patience for that, am I right?

Yes, it may feel uncomfortable initially, but once you establish what is essential with your "opposite," each party will begin to build trust. Are you starting to imagine what could happen?

They will see opportunities that you don't initially see.
They will share new perspectives you have not considered.
Your challenge is to slow down, listen and consider a new perspective.

With patience and time, you will begin to reap the benefits. Your opposite will help you stretch your creativity and ability to adapt, pivot, and change direction faster. Eventually, you will become more adept at seeing new perspectives without immediate judgment. You will raise your risk tolerance, which is critical for leadership. Eventually, you will move even faster to see the big picture in complex situations. The most significant benefit to partnership, your opposite will experience the same.

So while they may keep you guessing, you will also gain new efficiencies and become a better problem solver, eventually seeing more options. Not to mention the experience you will gain presenting unpopular ideas and building stronger influencing and listening skills.

Collaborating with someone so different takes patience and awareness to interact from a place of curiosity and stay open to a different perspective. You must carefully seek this person out, as you will both have to check your ego, establish fair rules of debate and be able to agree to disagree without resentment. This relationship is not something that happens overnight; it may take months, if not years, to establish a connection where you look forward (sometimes nervously) to the feedback from this great thought partner.

When you are stuck, the best part is you have someone you trust to turn to who can be your sounding board, ask questions, and provide their perspective from a place of partnership. The relationship is not adversarial but one of caring, wanting to see you succeed.

So how do you start to find your opposite? First, look for those with different points of view, brave enough to take another side in a meeting. Next, look for different backgrounds, education, and career paths. Challenge yourself that there must be many differences, not just a couple. Acknowledge your differences and what you admire about them to make setting boundaries and giving feedback easier. And don't be disappointed if it doesn't work out the first time. You will still learn something about yourself.

Ultimately, your opposite will open up your world and make you a better leader and, most likely, a better person.

Stay focused on forward career momentum with weekly newsletters from The Network Concierge: https://www.thenetworkconcierge.com/newsletter.


Become a part of the story by sharing yours - take this 9-minute survey focused on career fulfillment: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Web_TNC.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.