…today’s secret…Jigsaw puzzle.
The photo on the front of a jigsaw puzzle box is a GUIDE as to what the final puzzle should look like.
Inside the box are hundreds of small, jagged pieces with image fragments on each piece which gives a clue where that piece belongs.
The jigsawer’s CHALLENGE is to interlock all the pieces to form the finished picture on the GUIDE. Duh!
In-The-Know jigsawers first turn the pieces image up, assemble the straight edges together and create the border, and then start tackling the center by looking at the GUIDE.
They sort pieces by color, texture, and shape. They look at the hooks and knobs, work mainly from the middle out, and in small segments. When frustrated they start another segment because they have the time.
You don’t have a GUIDE with the people you are trying to help, do you? You have no pic, and certainly no time.
But, like all jigsawers, you still try and establish a border. You collect as much static historical data as you can. Age. Address. Marital status. Education. Experience. Maybe a background check. Race and gender a given. Maybe.
But then, you’re at a loss with their center pieces. You don’t know the internal GUIDE pattern they are currently living. You don’t know their worldview, expectations, culture, motivations, resilience, quirks, etc.
You don’t know if they will show up for work or follow directions when they get there. You don’t know how they handle conflict or respond to criticism.
You know little about what really makes them tick.
Doesn’t matter. The CHALLENGE you’re charged with is to help them change their GUIDE pattern for a better tomorrow without knowing the current GUIDE pattern they’re living today.
Whoa! What would a jigsawer do if we took the GUIDE pic on the front of their puzzle box from them? They would probably find another box with another pic on it.
Sorry. You don’t have that luxury. That’s what makes you special!