You have an analytical mind. You are problem solver, a solution hunter, a perfectionist. You probably work in IT, or another extremely technical discipline.
You grew up thinking the Information Revolution was just the right time to be born in.
And if you are over 40, you may have started noticing how you’d be better off, career-wise, exchanging some 20 IQ points for some (self-)marketing skills or a knack for people.
Welcome to the club.
You have just discovered how your mind is a liability as much as a gift.
How so? For instance…
You like… to think things through and only speak when you are sure.
Other people see… a guy who half the time is unwilling to commit to an opinion, and the other half is rigid on his conclusions.
You like… to weigh all elements of a problem.
Other people see… you never comes to the point.
You like… order and precision.
Other people see… you are intolerant of other people’s mistakes.
You like… to seek for perfection.
Other people see… you are allergic to deadlines.
You like… a formal approach.
Other people see… if it were for you, you would have them sign request forms in triplicate. Two days in advance. To access the toilet.
You like… to plunge into a problem until it’s thoroughly solved.
Other people see… a toiler with zero social skills who always wants to show off.
You like… to stick with proven methods and solutions.
Other people see… somebody who doesn’t care for the change the business demands.
You like… to be independent, self-sufficient and set your own goals
Other people see… a one-man band incapable of gameplay
You like… to learn and try out new things just for the fun of it.
Other people see… a weirdo who only wants to play and has no interest for real-world problems, let alone business ones.
You like… to tell things as they are, so everybody can improve and save time.
Other people see… Neanderthal manners, lack of empathy and zero negotiation skills.
In a nutshell, other people see you as a very knowledgeable loner who’s better left alone. A necessary evil. Somebody they are ready to “reluctantly let go” at the first chance of outsourcing a function.
This is what I call “Autistic IT”, but of course it applies outside of IT as well. Actually, it happens in any highly technical discipline. It happens in the family as well. And a little counselling goes a long way. I know, because I’ve Been There Done That.
Now, the good news: even if this is your natural way, there’s no reason to use it every time. A tiger can scare off rivals and enemies with a roar, but it would be a starving tiger one that roars when hiding in ambush.
I’m not suggesting you change your nature. I am suggesting you enlarge your view in order to take more details into account. You see, with all our love of perfection, we tend to ignore a number of details and react to our environment in a largely suboptimal way. Our effort may be large, but it is much less effective than it could and should be. Also, it’s very often not perceived as effort.
Once all details are taken into account (all of them, not only those we deem “interesting”) things change. We are just the same as before, but suddenly perform so much better, and people react in a completely different way with us.
There is nothing wrong in being “as we are”. But what a mistake it is to believe we are just one thing.