Sorting program, matchers and mis-matchers

Another sorting program involves matchers and mis-matchers. Try an experiment, look at the figures say 3 rectangles and tell how they relate to each other if 3 rectangles are in different positions.

To describe the relationship between the three figures, you could answer in many ways. You could say they are all rectangles, they all have four sides, two are vertical and one is horizontal, or that two are standing up and one is lying down, or that no one figure has precisely the same relationship to the other two. Or that one is different and the other two are alike.

You can think of more descriptions. They are all descriptions of the same picture, but they take completely different approaches. So it is with matchers and mis-matchers. This metaprogram determines how you sort information to learn, understand and the like. Some people respond to the world by finding sameness. They look at things and see what they have in common. They have matchers. So when they look at our figures they might say, they are all rectangles. Another kind of matcher finds sameness with exceptions. He might look at the figures and say, they are all rectangles, but one is lying down and the other two are standing up.

Other people are mismatchers – different people. There are two kinds of them. One type looks at the world and sees how things are different. They might look at the figures and say they are all different and have different relationships to one another. They are not like at all. The other kind of mismatcher sees differences with exception. He is like a matcher who finds sameness with exceptions in reverse he sees the differences first, and then he will add the things they have in common. To determine whether someone is a matcher or mismatcher ask the relationship between any set of subjects or situations and note whether he focuses first on the similarities or the differences. Can you imagine what happens when a sameness matcher gets together with a difference mismatcher? When the one says they are all alike, the other says, no, they’re not, they are all different! The sameness person’s rationale is that they are all rectangles. The difference mismatcher’s rationale is that the thickness of the lines may not be exactly the same, or that the angles are not exactly the same in all three of them. So who’s right? They both are, of course; it all depends on a person’s perception. However, mismatchers often have difficulty in rapport with people because they are always creating differences. They can more easily develop rapport with other mismatchers.

How is understanding these distinctions important? Let us give an example from ABC business. They have five partners and all but one are matchers. For the most part, this is terrific. They like each other. They think the same way and see the same things, so in meetings they can achieve a wonderful synergy; they are all talking and coming up with ideas, and they all look better and better because they are matching one another, seeing what the others are seeing, building on their sights, getting more and more excited.

Until mismatcher weights in, that is. Without fail, he sees things differently from the way they do. While they see the way things fit together, he sees the way they don’t. While they get enthusiastic and move along, he jumps in and tells us it’s going to work, then sits back like a bump on a log not paying attention to what the others see and instead seeing all sorts of problems the others don’t want to worry about. Others want to soar into the mental ozone and the mis-matcher wants to get back to square one and say What about this? What about that?

Is he a pain in the neck? You bet he is. Is he a valuable partner? He sure is. What we need to do is use him at the appropriate time in the planning process. The synergy we get from planning together is more valuable than his nitpicking at the time. After we have slowed down, we desperately need someone who sees the holes, sees the incongruities, sees how things don’t fit, how they don’t match. That’s the function he plays, and it often saves us from ourselves.