How to Expand Your Thinking

I’m an ENTP on the Myers Briggs, a Maximizer (amongst other things) on Strengthfinder, a high D on the DISC and orange on the True Colors assessment. It seems every few years, my place of employment develops a fondness for one instrument or another designed to provide insight into our learning styles, tendencies or blind spots.

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Diversity of Thought at Work

Frankly, we all know ourselves well enough that there aren’t surprises or enlightenments in the process. No revelations such as “wow, I only just realized that I’m an introvert.” What the assessments do provide however, is a clearer window into our co-workers. Done correctly, I get clarity around someone’s need for information before a decision, another’s keen ability to influence, or one person’s respect for rules and compliance. The opportunity to learn about our differences creates greater awareness about diversity of thought.

Promoting diversity of thought isn’t a new idea but in our zeal to manage diversity according to affirmative action codes, it’s one that can be overlooked – and it’s beneficial in the workplace. One study from Forbes Insights suggests that companies focused on developing this type of diversity will create a competitive advantage through higher and better innovation. Hong and Page conducted research where randomly selected teams were pitted against teams of hand-picked high performers. The result?  Randomly selecting problem-solving teams from a diverse population outperformed teams comprised of the best-performing individuals.

Diversity of Thought at Home

This isn’t just a lesson for the office but it’s a thoughtful way to approach projects and decisions in our personal lives as well. Who in your life comes at problems from a different angle than you? It’s likely not your closest friend as we tend to surround ourselves with people most like us. Next time you’re trying to figure out how to organize a community gathering or redo a room in your house or planning a kid’s birthday party, recruit ideas from others who think differently. Surround yourself with a wide range of thinking and you’ll end up with better outcomes.

This tart recipe seems perfectly fitting as an accompaniment to diversity of thought. Chanterelles from the rainy blue Northwest together with Swiss Chard from the desert Southwest – the combination comes together beautifully in a creamy no-egg nutmeg sauce that surprises us when it doesn’t have a traditional breakfast for lunch taste.

Diversity of Thought in the Kitchen

Swiss Chard Mushroom Tart 
Adapted from the rebel kitchen
serves 6

Ingredients:

I used the pastry shell from this recipe.

Filling:

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced into chunks
  • 1 lb swiss chard, sliced into thin ribbons tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

If you are following the pastry recipe in my link, press the mixture into a tart tin and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the tart shell and turn the oven down to 350.

In a heavy frying pan, sauté the mushrooms in the butter. Cover and allow to sweat for a minute. Add the swiss chard and stir until wilted through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, mix the butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat to create a roux. Gradually add milk and whisk constantly. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and sprinkle in the thyme leaves and Parmesan just before removing it from heat. Pour the sauce over the mushroom chard mixture and stir to coat evenly. Put the mixture into the pie crust and cook for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with a bit of extra parmesan as you remove it from the oven.

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Where can you seek out opinions that are starkly different from your own in order to grow your own thinking?

Leave a comment

40 Comments

  1. My chard is just about ready to harvest. Alas, no chanterelles. Will try with plain ole grocery story mushrooms.

    Reply
    • Those plain old grocery store variety will work fine. I also found a blue oyster mushroom at the farmer’s market. It can work. I received a lovely batch of chanterelles when our Northwest family came to visit! It seemed so fitting with the diversity topic.

      Reply
  2. Good thoughts! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Reply
  3. Idellah

     /  January 19, 2014

    Where can you seek out opinions that are starkly different from your own in order to grow your own thinking?

    Hmmm….probably at work. I find myself having markedly different perspectives about things than I observe at work. I am much more of an introvert than most of my colleagues and its given the wrong impression more than once. I realized that people tend to make up their own minds about your behavior based upon their own – quiet is seen as snotty or even creepy by some. Many are not comfortable with silence which is sometimes the best response. I’ve learned not to try to convince or persuade others that I am an ‘alright gal’ and give then the respect of coming to their own conclusions. At home, agreeing to disagree is often the best recourse!

    Reply
    • One thing that I’ve found helpful over the years is to share with others what I know about myself upfront. It has to be the right setting but if you can, saying “I’m quiet. It doesn’t mean I’m not thinking but I like to withhold my opinion unless asked directly”. My deal is that I whirl 1000 miles a minute. Therefore, I have something on the brain and may not say “hello” – I let people know it’s my style straight up and then I do try to work on it. I know you have much to contribute!!

      Reply
  4. This is a valid reason for teams on projects that require precise solutions. I’ve thought of you this week as I started studying again :)

    Reply
  5. Swiss chard is a favorite . . . especially sauteed up with onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Here’s to finding “two heads that are better than one.”

    Reply
    • Love greens cooked the very same way and mixed with everything. It’s greens season here so I can’t escape them.

      Reply
  6. Oh, this sounds lovely! I miss chard this time of year..mine did only well enough to provide fresh eating last summer. Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
  7. I love Swiss chard a lot,..It didn’t grow well this year in my garden…the snails ate it all! :( A tasty savoury tart! Yummmm!

    Reply
  8. Lisa H

     /  January 20, 2014

    Diversity is a good thing in all aspects of life: Friends, family, co-workers. We all have different strengths that, when brought together, make for a stronger friendship, family, and work life.
    The tart looks amazing. I will definitely give it a try! I bet it freezes well, too…a good thing to remember when Swiss chard is in abundance this summer.

    Reply
    • I am inundated in greens just now so if they freeze well, I’m on it.

      Reply
      • Lisa H

         /  February 10, 2014

        Yes, greens freeze well, especially if you take the time to blanche them first (but not necessary). Frozen greens are excellent to use in soups, baked dishes, or sautéed and simmered with spices.

        Reply
  9. Companies spend so much money on these sorts of assessments. I know someone who works for a big international firm with its head office in the US and it seemed every 18 months or two years there was yet another round of assessments. He and a lot of co-workers felt they were often under a microscope. The mushroom tart looks wonderful xx

    Reply
  10. This tart looks delicious, Tammy! I love greens and mushrooms! Great message. Preach on, sister.

    Reply
    • So good to see you hear. I eat everything with greens but know I’m sometimes alone in that. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Reply
  11. An ENTP, Maximizer AND a high D! Thank goodness I don’t feel alone anymore :-) And, while you have an employer who assigns a different instrument for you to take every few years, imagine having a partner who administers ten different ones for a living, gives you one to take every time they come out with something new, and always wants to describe some new strength you have (or don’t have!). They do come in handy in helping us understand other people better though, including our own families, don’t they Tammy. We tried the tart recipe last night (modified just a little with a gluten free shell I made with rice flower) and it was fabulous! Absolutely wonderful. Thanks !

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Rick. That’s fun about your partner and yes, it does help us understand others – that’s the value. I always seek out others that I feel are different than me. Thanks for trying the tart. I really like the combination.

      Reply
  12. I just read widely on many different sites and spots. I talk to many different people. Problem with me is that I am easily influenced…most people/viewpoints make sense in SOME ways. It gets exhausting! I think that is why so many of us chose to 1)pick a side and 2)stick with it like our life depends on it. It is just easier that way, from politics to pro football teams to religion to diet plan.

    Reply
    • Good for you for being open to so many different opinions. It is through listening that we create empathy.

      Reply
  13. Hi Tammy, I enjoy being surrounded at the food bank with many creative cooks and chefs–just as I enjoy my food blogging connections—all stimulate fresh ideas, new perspectives–and not just devoted to the kitchen!
    So much to learn and experience in the world! Always another step.

    Reply
    • I love new ideas and those who are willing to push thoughts further than I would otherwise know about or think.

      Reply
  14. I very much like what you’ve written here! Many people make inferences from themselves to others very easily, which is understandable if your own self is your predominant source of information, but still this strategy often fails. Typologies like the ones you mentioned, whether they are valid or not, transport the insight that other people likely have a different access to the world as oneself, based on their personalities and biographies. This insight helps foster tolerance and understanding, improves social relations, and performance of work teams when applied wisely.

    Reply
    • Yes, it fosters tolerance and improves our empathy skills. Truly, I believe that empathy – the ability to imagine someone else’s position is one of the most powerful things that some of our current education efforts avoid.

      Reply
  15. I remember years ago I worked for a large company, one of the senior managers surrounded herself with yes people – a real pain to deal with! She wasn’t a bright/intelligent woman, needed people to say yes to her and not challenge her. I’ve often found I’ve learnt a lot from other peoples mistakes.

    Reply
    • I am so disappointed when we don’t hear differing viewpoints. I find it really helps me find my own voice.

      Reply
  16. Diversity tart–cute! I once took a class called “Myers-Briggs and Office Politics” where the participants got tested and compared results. We jokingly had ENTPs (which is my type too) pointing at ESTJs and calling them “inflexible”, to which the retort was “wishy-washy”

    Reply
  17. Hello Tammy, I like your recipe, no chards yet but I may use other veges. The pastry looks and sounds so crusty ! As for getting new ways of thinking, different than mine… I am lucky to have friends working or engaged in various activities I am not familiar with. Discussions can be contradictory but there is always something interesting to learn about. Husband and sons also bring me food for thought.

    Reply
    • You can easily use other veg. I do like this crust. It is wholesome and filling. I agree with you about discussing different things. It is through conversation that we learn and grow and invent new possibilities.

      Reply
  18. Thought I would return the favor and check out your blog as well. Very enjoyable. My wife and several other friends are breast cancer survivors, so I have a sense of connection there. I am fortunate in my photography that I do have a few people who are independent thinkers and will give me useful input on my images and my business. Plus I like to cook.

    Reply
  19. Michele Dillard

     /  February 23, 2014

    I really enjoy reading your blog Tammy!!

    Reply

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