People Are Like M&Ms

By Jay Forte

Each of us is a uniquely capable, talented and amazing person who may experience rejection or dismissal because of how we appear on the outside. A great analogy I like to use is to think of people like M&Ms. On the outside, we all seem so different, but on the inside, we have so many similarities. Our “candy coating” is most often what we notice and comment on – not the remarkable inner “filling.”

I regularly speak to CEO groups about hiring the right employee based on fit. I stress that today’s interviews should be about looking past the “candy coating” of a candidate and instead focusing on the candidate’s “filling” – their thinking, talents, strengths and values. It is these attributes that allow us to see what makes people unique and remarkable, while also better equipping us to assess their fit for the available position.  

Here is a challenge. Stop and notice when you judge another based on their exterior before giving them a chance to show how remarkable and amazing their insides are. Catch how many times you do this and for today, make a conscious effort to notice your judgement and steer away from it. Consider how amazing this person may be. Consider what talents, strengths and values you share.

We respond better to those we feel are similar. So take the time to stop and notice the similarities.

I am constantly learning this lesson as I travel. I see people who look different everywhere. But now I find myself remembering M&Ms. By engaging these fellow travelers in a conversation to get to know their “filling,” I overcome the instinct to judge or make inferences about their “candy coating.” I simply ask them, “What is something great that has happened in your day today?” Their answers remind me that they are just like me – they are working on discovering how to do life, how to be happy, how to [better] care about the people they love, how to achieve their definition of success, how to make some sort of difference in their world. Being open and interested helps them share how remarkable they are, something I would miss if I let my judgments and limiting beliefs take over.

So, remember M&Ms – the different candy coatings mask the remarkable human filling. Ask and listen and you will discover that you are actually quite similar to those who may look the most different from you.

Make time. Care. Be interested. Reach out. You will be more impressed than you think.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. How often do you tune in to your thoughts and comments about others?
  2. What is one thing you can do today to be less judgmental of others?
  3. How will you make time to see another’s inner greatness instead of focusing on their external differences?

 

Consider reading What Mask Are You Wearing Today?

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