As you might have learned the hard way, we share the chameleon’s burden at various life stages. Our society tends to celebrate conformity while (sadly) often squashing anything that seems outside of the ordinary.You might have experienced this reality in high school when you learned that popularity is directly correlated with your wardrobe as well as your ability to not mess up the bell curve. There is safety in being just like everybody else, or at least acting like you are just like everybody else.
Your liberation from high school and college did not release you from this reality. As a new hire in a company, the “safety in conformity” rule is especially relevant – with much higher stakes. Here, if you fail to fit in with your new team’s culture, you might not only become the black sheep of the office. Much worse, you might get fired! A recent Forbes article indicated that nearly half of new hires fail within the first 18 months, most due to “attitudinal reasons,” including (from the employer’s perspective): temperament (yes, personality!), low levels of emotional intelligence and motivation, and lack of coachability (i.e., inflexibility). Read the rest of this entry