All Kinds of Kinds

So a couple years ago the country queen Miranda Lambert put out a stellar song titled “All Kinds of Kinds.” I personally reached out to her to see if I could borrow the title for my blog post… good news is she didn’t care.

Recently in my life (9 to 5 and beyond), I have been challenging myself with this ideal. If you have spent 30 seconds around me you know my natural nature is quick to pass judgement. I’m guided by some weird internal code where I have decided that I know “good and bad” as well as what’s “right and wrong”. (Obviously I’m crazy and I know you all are rolling your eyes harder than Miranda right now.) Read up on Enneagram number 1’s if you would enjoy understanding the why behind my crazy.

Anyway, I have developed a love/hate relationship with the concept of “All Kinds of Kinds” or my new favorite phrase “Everything Belongs”. Why love/hate Robyn? Doesn’t it just seem logical that the world needs all types of people to be a great place?

Yes.

At my core, I believe ‘All Kinds’ make me better. Fuller. A richer and more accepting human. I’m there. Contrary to my quick judgements and natural tendencies, I get it. However, the ‘hate’ part of the relationship comes charging in like a bull in a china shop when I walk through the work place doors. The 40+ hours I spend at work every week really challenge my core beliefs. Weekend Robyn can’t be weekend Robyn on a Tuesday.

Don’t we all have the “kinds” at work we prefer to interact with? The kinds who are on-time to meetings or who understand our humor. The kinds that embrace our slightly inappropriate comments at 3pm on a Friday. The team playing kinds and the kinds who reply quickly to emails. The kinds who are our go-to lunch buddy anytime the sun is shining.

For a while, that has been my view on the workplace. There are “my kinds of people” and the “not my kinds of people”. This helped me separate weekend Robyn and weekday Robyn. I now know the issue with this lens or worldview is that I miss out on All Kinds of people.

We miss out on the ones who challenge us. We don’t grow because we are surrounded by ‘kinds’ just like us. In my personal experience, (and all the resistance I allowed myself to have during that experience) I discovered my best growth has come from being around those who aren’t like me. I have started embodying the idea the “Everyone Belongs” and searching for the souls in the workplace who make my day a little “harder”.

This has taken years folks and I’m no where near full understanding on this. I have made a commitment to making progress though. And in the moments of frustration with a kind so opposite of me, I appreciate that kind. I say a silent ‘thank you’ for that kind.

I believe we all have our strengths and that all the kinds deserve a seat at the table. I am still daily working on appreciating the kinds that aren’t me and giving myself grace when I fail.

Shout out to the kinds that my process driven, deadline focused, detail ridiculousness self probably drives crazy. Know I appreciate your creativity, and more relaxed view of this world. YOU MAKE ME BETTER. May I continue to learn from the other kinds and leave my judgement at the door.

(And for those dying to listen to Miranda’s song — here you go!)

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