I was inspired by @APAE"'s latest prompt to the Certified User base and thought I'd add my own. @TippyTop11", @Whiskey5", @Eddie Braverman", @BreakingOutOfPWM", @I'm done", @DickFuld", @Dances With Newfoundland", @idaho", and many others, this one's for you:
It's only been recently in my career that I've found myself able to see people in a professional setting outside of a binary scale. It used to be that over time, I would decide that people were either "good" and impressive and worth emulating and learning from, or "bad" and to be categorically avoided.
I think this is a terrible idea. All people, it turns out, are collections of traits and skills, some of which I personally will find positive and others I won't. Whether or not they are, on the balance, net one way or the other doesn't prevent them from having strong skills worth learning from. I effectively locked myself out of studying and evaluating positive, productive traits in people I didn't like, and for anyone trying to continually learn and better themselves, this is an unnecessary self-handicap.
I'll give an example: I had a partner once that I really did not see eye-to-eye with. He was not a "details" guy, and got uncomfortable with analysis because at its core he couldn't keep up. He didn't mind changing facts, and he didn't mind cutting a corner or skirting a boundary if he thought it might help. He put us in some tight spots with his approaches. I quickly added him to my "bad" bucket and tried to minimize my contact with him.
But looking back, I wish I could have gone with him to take clients to dinner more times. The guy was an absolute master storyteller, and could hold a room with sheer force of personality better than anyone I've ever met. Even if I didn't like how he went about all of his work, I could have learned a ton by paying better attention when he was doing the thing he did best.
So now, your turn: what was something you liked or admired about a person that, overall, you didn't care for?