Thursday, August 4, 2016

The characteristics of a self defined individual

Even though we often don't want to admit it, it is far easier to swim in the currents of other people's ideas and convictions than to have our own. This is why boards, for instance often don't deal with sensitive topics. No one on the board wants to state their own convictions if it causes discomfort to others. Group think can be the bane of any group that works together. It is simply easier to adopt the viewpoint of the group rather than rock the boat with a viewpoint that might be different.

The problem with this is that it is not healthy and it deprives us of the ability to think for ourselves and hold our own opinions. Healthy people are self defined. They have their own opinions and convictions and are willing to share them even when it goes against the crowd. It may cause disruption to the comfort of the group but it challenges the prevailing group think and causes others to think more deeply. It is also far more honest and authentic than simply going with the crowd.

Self defined individuals think deeply and while they take in the perspectives of others they come to their own conclusions. Because of this they are often the ones who raise the hardest questions in a group as they are not party to group think.

What are the characteristics of a self defined individual?
  • They know who they are in terms of strengths and weaknesses
  • They think deeply about issues and come to their own conclusions
  • They are not afraid to share their opinions even when it goes against group think or conventional wisdom
  • They listen to others and evaluate their opinions but in the end they make up their own minds
  • They are not afraid to be who they are
  • They are not intimidated by the opinions of others even when there is a clash of ideas
TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com



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