TED Conversations

Abhinandan Chatterjee

Senior Consultant - L&D, I Train Consultants (I) Pvt.Ltd

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Are you a conformist or a non conformist?

Definition: Conformity - Doing things the way it is defined by perceived limitations - Social, physical, mental or executional.

Non-Confirmity - The ability to take risk and go beyond the defined, allowed or the traditionally possible - based on being driven and on belief.

Non-Conformity is often perceived as REBEL, rebel is looked at as something that is wrong. I want to share that Non-conformity does not have to be wrong. While there are mostly examples of it that hog limelight for negative reasons; it is a life changing idea for the good. If we intend it to be that way.

My life has been divided between being a conformist and a non-conformist. I still don't have the answer but I am sure that people not willing to conform to things ought to get the due respect and a proper platform for it now.However, it is important that the means and intention are absolutely humane for this different person. Otherwise - there will just be more of the negative examples.

If you feel like digging deeper into it, I spoke about this at a recent TEDx; you can see that at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBLCWg37R6Q

Are you a conformist or a non-conformist? It will be great if you could suggest some examples of non-conformity that did good for the world.

Answers appreciated.


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    Mar 11 2012: I don't believe those words have any meaning. What is non-conformity other than conforming to an outlier already in the system? I spend a good deal of my time doing what people would normally expect, but when my boss asks me to come up with a new idea to solve a problem, am I a non-conformist? I don't think so.
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      Mar 11 2012: Thanks for your opinion.

      That's a good perspective. If it is the word that you disagree with you can name it differently - call it 'Blah' if you will. The thought behind the term is lot deeper.

      Let me ask you - Have you ever been in a situation where your boss sided by your idea, agreed and you started working on it. Midway, you realized, or should I say, believed; that this idea is not as great as you initially thought?

      What did you do in that situation. A: Managed your way because going back now ain't good for your career.
      B: Went back to your boss and said 'I was wrong'! - Because you did not believe in the idea anymore.

      These two kinds of people are either reasonable or driven by belief. Maybe both are right or necessary. Maybe being balanced is the answer - I don't know that. What I know is, the world cannot function without either kind.

      So, when your boss asks for a new idea, you come up with one, nobody agrees with it!, but you fight for it because you truly believe it - That is non-conformity. Cheers

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