Being Divergent in a Team Atmosphere, Without Having to “Walk the Plank”

Does anyone else have the “curse” of explaining an opposing argument so well, your peers think you’re on the “other side” and start attacking you?


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Being a Visionary is Not as Easy as it Looks

I’m a natural devil’s advocate, and somebody who constantly thinks of every alternative possibility.

Throughout my professional career, there have been a few situations where me trying to bring up opposing arguments, for improvement of the project / idea, resulted in a team turning on me.

The Visionary / ENTP Personality Type

  • ENTPs love to argue and consider it a sport, sometimes hurting those who don’t. They like proving their points and showing others how impressive they are.
  • They are masters at improvising and are usually good at everything they put their minds too.
  • Interested in almost everything, they become pleased with people who are skilled and talented.
  • Once something they are interested in is no longer a challenge they lose interest and move on.
  • Problem solving and adaptability is their specialty.
  • ENTPs are very judge mental about people, but are surprisingly very accurate on there judgment.
  • While following the rules of the game, they look for all the short cuts and mysteries of it. That is why these people are most likely to bend the rules and cut corners because they despise simple and uninteresting procedure or routines.

  • We Are All Puzzle Pieces

    We must remind ourselves that a majority of other personality types do not think this way. Certain types even crave sticking to consistent, reliable, and trusted methods above anything else.

    For other types of people, our style of thinking shatters the essence of their being. They hate challenging or changing conventional methods. They crave sticking to tradition, and believe it is the cause for what has made them successful, up to this point.

    Most types ask themselves:

    “Why fix something, if it ain’t broke?”

    This is a core belief of what makes these people who they are.

    Visionary types ask themselves a different question:

    “Why stick to what’s working we’ll, when we could be making it much better?”

    This is apart of our core personality, deeply ingrained into the fabric of who we are. We couldn’t stop thinking in this manner if we wanted to.

    Just as “we are who we are,” other people “are who they are,” as well. It’s important to always remember this truth when dealing with others.


    What Matters More: Your Pride, or Bringing the Vision to Life?

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    • The goal is not to prove you are the superior type.
    • The goal is to learn how to get your vision across, and eventually believed in.

    The Future is Inevitable, Like it or Not

    The same people who said shaking things up was foolish, will be the same people that end up using and supporting the innovation in the long-term.

    It’s the same as “old people” and technology. They will fight tooth & nail to not try the “new hot thing.” A year later they’ll be in love with it.

    Dealing with Different Types of People

    Learn to Pick and Choose Your Battles Wisely!

    • It’s very easy for us to challenge just about anything, and we get quite a bit of enjoyment from it. Make an effort to resist this urge!
    • Try and stay focused on the most important, crucial points. The things that need to be challenged immediately.
    • Force yourself to withhold your urge to brainstorm about everything.
    • Make an effort to show positive reinforcement for ideas that you immediately agree with.
    • Show at least equal amounts of positive reinforcement, if not more, to the amount of opposition and challenging you cause. This helps prevent people from having the perception that you’re just an argumentative person.
    • When presenting a really important, divergent, outside-of-the-box idea to your team, meet with a few teammates ahead of time, privately, to acquire a bit of support heading in. You’ll already have a few people saying “hey that sounds like a pretty good idea.” It won’t be you against everyone!
    • Include these supporters in your scheme to make them feel apart of it. Make it “our idea.” They will not only agree with you, but will fight for the vision, themselves.

    Summing it All Up!

    As ENTPs, we don’t need “group approval” to think an idea is solid, but most other types do. If you have a few supporters going in, it will be much easier to challenge norms.

    Including others has an added benefit of introducing others into
    your thought process and understanding who you are.

    I’ve found that once you can establish this, once people understand
    the way you think, you can accomplish a lot more without as much friction.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we have to learn to “play the BS game” just enough to establish yourself as the visionary. It may be a little while before this happens.

    “Baby Steps” is the Key!

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    A Great Clip from “What About Bob?”

    In this short scene, Bob learns is introduced to the basic concepts of “Baby Steps.”

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