“I never really have fit in” – I hear people say that all the time. “I was different. I was the black sheep,” they’ll say. After listening for some time, I realize…they wouldn’t trade belonging if it meant changing who they are. I respect that.
Blessed are those who have discovered their herd (click to Tweet).
I went to a Techie meeting this week. During the networking portion the attendees all had their noses in their notebooks.
Very. Little. Interaction.
I watched as they came and went. They didn’t look like my herd. I was a gazelle in a room of antelope. Not a lot different, but enough to know it wasn’t my herd. We just all happened to be at the same mental watering hole (click to Tweet). They moved with grace and ease. Shoulders back, eyes forward, confident. They understood the lay of the land. They presented a commanding presence. I was pleased to witness their “belongingness.” They were brilliant. When I drank from their watering hole my mind expanded!
A friend told me she didn’t belong in the herd that raised her. Raised by wolves, she said. Her family was not like her at all. They didn’t understand or appreciate the gifts she had to bring to the table – er – watering hole. That’s a shame, because she is bright, and intelligent and funny and talented. She positively shines and could add sparkle to any party or event. When she found her artist friends, she found a home. She connected with her herd and now they support, protect and inform one another. They collaborate, champion and share. How powerful to be with your herd, or your “tribe” as I often call it (you can join mine at the sidebar of this page). We can achieve so much more together than any one person alone.
It’s important to have a place you feel comfortable; a place you “belong.” There is also a risk in it. If you spend all your time with the herd you may get weak and possibly get “et”. It will do you good to wander down to the watering hole on occasion and drink with the elephants, observe the lions, commune with baboons (I do that all the time!).
There is richness, beauty and abundant learning in diversity (click to Tweet).
I’ve spent years working with, and coaching, teams and developing them into high functioning units. Diversity in teams is incredibly important. And, get this, that person who drives you crazy may be your greatest asset (click to Tweet). They force you to see things differently. To think differently and to learn. Appreciate them.
I know you can’t always be on high alert in the tall grass surrounded by unfamiliar beasts. HOW EXHAUSTING!!! Find your herd, your accepting, harmonious herd, so you can rest, rejuvenate and celebrate with them. If you haven’t found them, take a trip down the river and try a few new watering holes. Enjoy the ride. Your herd is out there…somewhere. If you’ve found them, remember to cross pollinate…take a sip at a new watering hole and learn new stuff.
Go on Safari,
Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their productivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter
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