If you’ve ever purchased a diamond you know how important slight variations are in determining value. Two diamonds might be identical in size and color, but the one with the slight imperfection not easily seen is worth significantly less.
Just as the loudest voice in the room doesn’t usually belong to the most interesting person, the less obvious characteristics are often the most interesting. It pays to notice nuances.
A nuance is a slight distinction or variation. As in appraising diamonds, you have to look closely to see the subtle differences in people that create real value or detract from it.
Here are seven nuances I’ve noticed about extraordinary people:
1. The person most secure in his or her abilities and successes is usually the best at recognizing and praising others. They don’t just build others up because it is “the right thing to do”; they enjoy doing it and bring artistry to how they do it.
2. They know the difference between “I want to help” and “How can I help?” The latter indicates someone willing to do what needs to be done instead of someone simply looking for personal opportunities. And extraordinary people are much more likely to ask, “How can I help?” and be willing to do what’s necessary.
3. Their failures don’t impact them as negatively and their successes don’t get overblown. They let neither success nor failure distort the big picture because they know life is always a mixture of both. They learn from setbacks but don’t wallow in them and they appreciate successes but don’t rest in them.
4. They understand the difference between worry and concern. Worry is worthless and focuses on feelings. Concern is powerful when it focuses on actions: what needs to be done to solve the problem or address the situation. Successful people act constructively out of their concerns.
5. They make as many mistakes as others but have fewer regrets. Extraordinary people acknowledge they’ve grown into who they are as much from their mistakes and defeats as their wise choices and victories. To eliminate past mistakes would diminish present wisdom.
6. They’re aware that knowing lots of people is much different from having significant relationships. “Who you know” is a big number. “Who you really know” is a small number. The ability to truly know anyone deeply is a nuance not practiced nor enjoyed by all.
7. They have second and third thoughts because they tend to think more deeply. They love to think beyond the obvious and the superficial and that’s what leads them to great insights. They are comfortable in their opinions and open to new insights. They may not agree with an opposing viewpoint but neither are they threatened by it.
What other nuances have your noticed in extraordinary people?