by Sarah Thurber
“You would make a terrible realtor,” my teenage daughter Becca said to me as we were driving to breakfast one Saturday morning.
“Really? Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Because you always like the fixer-upper houses. You walk into a house that’s a total wreck and say, ‘This is a real diamond in the rough!’”
“That’s right!” I said. “Those are the houses that require the most imagination. Those are the most fun, and if you play it right, they’re often the best value.”
“But those are not the houses most people want to buy,” she said.
I thought for a moment. “Wow. I guess you’re right. I really would make a terrible realtor.”
We laughed. “Mom, you’re such an Ideator, Implementer!” It’s true, in FourSight terms, I have a high preference for both ideation and implementation, which makes a house that’s a real fixer-upper incredibly appealing to me. It calls on all the things that I naturally bring to a problem: Imagination. Nerve. Guts. Vision. Lots of hard work. It’s me at my best.
But me at my best is not other people at their best. When our FourSight colleague Russ Schoen and his wife were expecting their second child, I tagged along on their house hunting adventure. I kept raving about the fixer-uppers. Honestly, I was kind of bored by the houses that were move-in ready. Where’s the fun in that? All you do is move in.
My daughter helped me see it through another lens. I was only getting excited about the houses that were exciting to me. Without putting my thinking preferences in check, I would be a good realtor only for people who shared my cognitive profile and like to engage in the same types of challenges that I do.
FourSight helped surface why that was happening and reminded me that, regardless of the job I do, when I’m helping other people make decisions, I need to make sure I’m helping them in a way that suits their needs, not just in a way that suits mine.