How to Prevent Spinning Out of Control

Military helicopters have two rotor blades that spin in opposite directions. They spin that way to provide greater stability and control to the pilot.

Think of your company or organization as a military helicopter and the brains of your people as rotor blades. You may or may not be the pilot. But if you’re on board, you probably care about stability, control and of course making progress toward your destination.

Organizations need the big thinkers and detail people, the creatives and the analytical minds, the talkers and listeners, the leaders and the followers, the introverts and the extroverts. It’s the diversity of the personalities, the experiences and the viewpoints that foster an environment to generate the best solutions.

True, those same differences are what can make the office environment challenging.  It’s generally not the work that’s difficult; it’s the personalities of the people doing the work.

But everyone being similar or thinking in lock-step with each other sets the stage for spinning out of control. If you’re headed in the wrong direction who is going to correct course if you all think alike? It’s vital to have people who think differently, are willing to share those thoughts, are encouraged to do so and feel safe in the process.

The next time you find yourself frustrated by the style or behavior of a colleague, try to reframe your viewpoint. Ask “What is this person bringing to the situation that I’m not.” Or, “How might our approaches complement each other?”

Think like the blades of the helicopter spinning in opposite directions and use the opposition to move you forward.

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