The Insider/Outsider POV

This week’s exercise is inspired by Adrian Furnham’s work that describes the value of being an outsider.

What do Albert Einstein, Dan Aykroyd, and Christina Hendricks all have in common? 

They were considered to be outcasts as kids.

While outsiders often struggle with identity and social acceptance, the perspective they gain can provide value to help themselves and others to succeed.

Introducing Your Insider/Outsider Exercise

What It Is
An opportunity to embrace the outsider perspective.

Why We Love It 
There is a lot of talk about inclusion these days but not a lot of real conversations about how being different can be a good thing. This exercise takes a step back and reminds us that being an outsider certainly isn’t easy, but the perspective it can provide can be invaluable.
How It Works

Get together with a few friends or teammates and take a moment to share a time when each of you were considered to be outsiders -- on the outskirts of the ‘in-crowd.’ Recall how you felt, what you experienced, and why you had outsider status.

Share what you learned from being an outsider. Are you more understanding of differences of opinion? Are you able to see things from multiple points of view?


Now, reflect on parts of your life where you might be more of an insider than an outsider. Consider:

How you can work differently to welcome perspectives outside of the norm?

What can you do differently to make outsiders feel more welcome? 
What makes outsiders so well equipped to succeed?
According to this Psychology Today article, while outsiders have ‘to work harder to be accepted,” they exhibit three characteristics that position them well to succeed -- vigilance, understanding and flexibility.
Interested in learning more?
Here are some additional tidbits:
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Shankar Desai