There are three massive overarching tools in The Inevitable You® coaching system that explain the primary ways that people think and process information, and their behavior and actions. This is a big one, it’s called “matching and mismatching.”
There are people who have a natural tendency to “mismatch” things when they look at something. Meaning, when they look at a chair for example, they will tell you how different it is from any chair they have ever seen.
They sit in the chair and say, “I hate this chair. I don’t know, it feels like this chair might break if I got too excited. And I don’t like this armrest, it hurts my arm. And where’s my headrest? If I put my head back, I’ll get whiplash. I hate this chair!”
A “matcher” does the exact opposite. They’ll admire the chair and when they sit in it they’ll say, “I love this chair. Oh, it feels good to me and I like these edges. And I even like the view from this chair as I sit in this office!” They’ll look for all the qualities of what they love in the chair. When you are matching, you are finding what’s similar, what’s alike.
Now, most people will jump to the conclusion we should all be matchers and then we’ll have more satisfaction and joy. And these are the optimists. But there’s a huge problem with this, if a leader assembles a team and brings all matchers in, how successful will he be? Not very.
What if he brought in all mis-matchers? He wouldn’t be very successful either.
Do we value matchers more than mismatchers? Yes we do. Should we? No, we shouldn’t, because each one of them has value. You need both.
To help sink this in even more, ponder this scenario: If there are 50 engineers designing the next space shuttle and you’re an astronaut, do you want those engineers to be matchers or mis-matchers?
Mis-matchers. They’re going to make a better spaceship because they are going to find every last thing that could go wrong.
So don’t assign value to either one, it’s about consciousness, and it’s contextual. And in this context, we want mis-matchers.
Now, the problem is if you want both, we know that 90% of the engineers, 100% of the time, if it’s in the critical last few weeks of getting the space shuttle ready, are going to be mis-matching. And so what you need is a leader that says, “Okay, I want to find a match, or, it’s time to stop the mismatch and start matching.”
When you are conscious and you know you want to match, you will find things that are similar and work for you. Mismatching is useful when you need to know what isn’t going to work, or you need a solution for something, or you find something that’s different and you don’t like it, so you can fix it.
The military does contingency planning. There is plan A: how we are going to do the mission and be successful at it? And then the contingency plan says, “If this door is locked or we can’t get in that way, which way are we going to go?” Who develops those contingency plans, the matchers or the mis-matchers? The mis-matchers.
You need to value the mis-matchers, and when you go back to your team you are going to talk to your mis-matchers differently because you are going to value the input that they give you. And, you are going to honor what they mismatch for you and help them find the match. Because when you put it in matching terms for them, they will understand it, it’s just not their primary process.
For your matchers, you will have to honor them because they are going to give you a lot of enthusiasm and support and feel really great, and they give the team energy. Sometimes they’re the ones that stumble first and don’t know what to do, because it never occurred to them that they were going to fail. They had no back up plans.
So when you mix your matchers and your mis-matchers, you are going to have fantastic opportunities!