Thursday, December 26, 2013

Great Minds DO NOT Think Alike

It is my viewpoint as an individual on the spectrum that those with autism are beginning to change how Western Society views talent.  Too often, people mistake presentation of talent for the talent itself.  By that, I mean that those who are extroverted are seen as more valuable than those who are introverted or those who are autistic.  Companies require team building activities and colleges require group work under the premise that groups can produce better ideas than individuals working alone.  Those on the autism spectrum are proving this premise wrong by producing excellent creative work without the social skills used during group activities.

I'm not saying I'm against group work.  A few weeks ago, I joined the marketing committee for the community band I play in.  This has worked out very well, a lot better than I thought it would.  The reason for that is that I am able to work within the realm of my strengths rather than being forced to rely on my weaknesses.  The person I have worked with mostly on this project is outgoing and action orientated.  This person's approach complements well with my introverted, idea orientated mindset.  This person told me that the ideas I come up with really gets her thinking when I present ideas in an environment I am comfortable in.  Working together, we have accomplished a lot more than we would have if either one of us would have done if we had been forced to rely on our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

Forcing those into group work who would rather work quietly is counterproductive to success.  Today's job market in America favors the assertive when in fact there are talented, capable individuals being overlooked simply because they are quieter.  Both sets of people have their place.  Those who are quieter work better in support roles alongside their outgoing counterparts, reigning them in when necessary.  Those on the autism spectrum fall into both categories, many high functioning individuals are outgoing and many are quieter.  The main idea is that people on the autism spectrum and those who are neurotypical, those who are introverted and those who are extroverted all work best when they can utilize their strengths instead of being forced to rely on their weaknesses.

Just something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ryan. Good point and very true about us each using our strengths and not being forced to to use our weaknesses. A good leader knows this about his people no matter who they are. Also, my son, who is highly functional Autistic thinks that possibly AS people are actually the future and will carry mankind unto the next level in evolution! With more and more people being diagnosed nowadays as on the AS spectrum; THIS could very well be true!