Embrace the complexity of humans, but how

Fun fact. Every human is a unique creature. There are no two humans the same on the planet. Every single human is a complex amalgam of personality styles, behavioural characteristics, and experienced conditioning. Every specimen of our species is so different from each other, that humans are not only different, but most of us are unpredictable.  

So why do some leaders think that they can treat every one of their team members in the same way. And expect them all be respond in the same way. And expect them all to perform in the same way. 

The simple answer is because they are taking the easy way out, and not doing the work to adapt their approach to different personality styles. The more complicated answer is that they have not embraced the complexity of humans. And leaned into understanding what makes each one of their team member’s tick and why. Here is how to embrace the complexity of humans. 

1. Have a growth mindset 

Having a growth mindset is the very first step to embracing human complexity. Dr Carol Dweck developed the concept of a fixed versus a growth mindset. Having a fixed mindset is about not learning, not developing, and not being open to other perspectives. 

A growth mindset “simply means that people believe their intelligence and talents can be improved through effort and actions. A growth mindset also recognizes that setbacks are a necessary part of the learning process and allows people to ‘bounce back’ by increasing motivational effort. A growth of mindset sees ‘failings’ as temporary and changeable, and as such, a growth mindset is crucial for learning, resilience, motivation, and performance” (Credit: Mindset Health). 

With a growth mindset, you can be curious, you can be interested in others, and you can learn about why humans behave in the way that they do.  

To embrace complexity, stretch your mind, to learn about others. 

2. Prepare yourself for it 

One of my all-time favourite sports people is Australian Ironman champion, Chris McCormack. Or Macca. Macca is very polarising in our sport; he is known for playing mind games with his competition. His confidence (and arrogance) has impacted his popularity in the past. 

One thing I have always liked about Macca is his preparation. Macca has the philosophy of ‘embrace the suck’ (which sounds a bit vulgar, but it isn’t). Embracing the suck means to know that there are tough times coming, and when they come, you should not be surprised, you should be prepared. You should be prepared to deal with situations that are difficult. 

A little like dealing with complexity. As a leader, if you have a growth mindset, and you know that your team members will all act differently, when it happens, you should be prepared to respond, not react. You should be prepared to be interested, not interesting, and you should be prepared to listen to different points of view.  

To embrace complexity, expect it, and be prepared. 

3. Find some clusters amongst the chaos 

As different as we all are, there are some similarities. There are clusters of behavioural traits. There are clusters of personality styles. There are clusters of ideas and opinions.  

Take DISC profiling as an example. DISC simply categorises humans into one of four styles (dominant, influential, steady, conscientious). That’s it. Four styles, and we all have a communication style that fits into one or more of those categories. And after what feels like forever working with the DISC tool, I must admit (sadly) that when I meet people, I categorise them into D, I, S or C.  

And that helps me connect with them, because I can communicate in their style.  

What a process like DISC does is it allows you to embrace complexity to create simplicity. Take the complex, make it less complex. And work within a range of constraints and boundaries. Simplify the complex. 

To embrace complexity, find ways to simplify the un-simplifiable (if that is a word). 

In summary, embrace the complexity of humans.  

It will take some effort, but the effort is well and truly worth it! 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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