It took me a while to wrap my head around this concept – different is fair. It flies in the face of my kindergarden teacher’s whole schtick. Everyone gets the same number of blocks. Period.
It didn’t occur to me at five to ask about the kids who didn’t want to play blocks, or were keen to stay at the sand table or wanted to continue reading books.
I get it now. All 20 of us were different people. We were interested in different things and motivated by our own unique needs. We shared the same desire to graduate to first grade, meaning we learned the requirements. But our ‘whys’ were divergent. We wanted to use the gigantic grade one door, or give up the blue cots for nap time, or maybe make our parents happy.
Here I am at work, learning that the same applies – the people I work with share the same desire to experience success, but our whys are our own. Helping people figure out their why can help them find more meaning in their day. It means the manager and the team member can speak the same language. It might even mean that team members can connect around shared whys.
It means that treating people differently IS being fair. Making everyone use blocks wasn’t fair – it was completely uncool for those not into blocks. Just as making everyone approach work the same way is not fair – we are all different. We should all find our own blocks, so to speak.
What’s your why? What are your blocks?