Puzzle pieces are a common analogy used when talking about fit – different shapes need to link together to form a whole, a missing piece is noticeable, everyone needs to work together to fulfill the vision, etc. But what about when the pieces are not standard shapes and challenge our perspective of what will fit together?

I thought of this when working on a puzzle that had the most non-traditional shaped pieces that I have seen. It stretched my imagination and ingenuity to blend these pieces into the picture, but, of course, they were necessary to complete it. The same can be true when talking about people instead of pieces.

Think about where you fit on the tolerance scale. Are you only comfortable with “differences” that are of the standard variety or are you able to embrace those which are outside your usual experiences? How can you intentionally seek out pieces that are more varied and come to appreciate the richness they bring to your puzzle? Can you learn to see puzzles as coming in a multitude of shapes and avoid the traditional/non-traditional labels?

It may not feel like it initially, but even shapes that you have not worked with before still fit side by side with your common variations and are the only way to make your picture complete.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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