Round peg – square hole

23 Nov

We often talk about square pegs and round holes when it comes to people fitting into roles/profiles. This is an obvious parallel as we know a square peg won’t fit, unless you force it to shave off the corners. Now whilst we could psychologically spend hours discussing making changes and adjustments and whether the square peg should adapt I wanted to talk about the opposite. And something I feel happens particularly to people who can fall victim to the imposter syndrome.

Round peg – square hole. I mean with this is a round peg will fit in a square hole. No problems. So at first glance no worries. However the round peg doesn’t fit snuggly, isn’t exactly right. And whilst initially you fit in as there are no sharp edges you’re not quite in your place.

I’m not suggesting that this couldn’t be a very happy relationship – nor that one shouldn’t be looking for diversity as maybe those square holes could use some reshaping. But it’s about trying to make yourself or that new hire to be something you’re not.

In the end, even though the peg is round, there is friction. That subtle sub-cutaneous feeling that it isn’t 100% but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

And there is exactly the moment for growth. Why did you hire that round peg? Why did you as round peg take the square hole position? Is it absolutely insurmountable or can things be re-aligned? We keep talking about diversity but do we really mean it? Because it means re-evaluating the holes not necessarily the pegs.


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