Episode 133: Rhinos and Cattle and Diversity

The Self Development Podcast

08-06-2021 • 1 hr

This is a great, light-hearted way to profile people.  And Stephen always tells it so well it feels like it should be in a book.

Rhinos and Cattle - One is not good, and one is not bad.

None of us are all one or the other – it’s a spectrum that can help us to understand ourselves and those around us – it can help to improve how we work with others.

  • Short description below - and scroll down for the first 10 minutes of the transcript.
  • Loads more from Stephen on www.coachpro.online
  • Full transcript available on www.rhinoconsulting.nl/podcast
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The story is a little playful – you hear it and you immediately start putting yourself into one of the 2 camps – and then you start looking around you and doing the same.  Your whole family and team are suddenly full of horns and black spots.

The spectrum so colourfully described is also a useful way to characterise yourself and those around you – by labelling you and others you can start to manage the relationships around you better – you to them, and them to you.

There are many other charts that allow you to profile people – but this one I found to be useful.  There are others too.

The second part is the learning to appreciate that a balance is needed.  Without a team that can covers all skills and viewpoints you will be weaker. By acknowledging the different type of animals around you, there is now an understanding that you should manage the different personalities better. In the future you can use this knowledge to build an optimum team.

This move from “seeing the differences and denying them” - to toleration – to appreciating them - to actively seeking out complementary skills - is a valuable skill to learn and consciously employ.

Lastly, it’s an important learning that can be applied to other spectrum and differences.  Gender, age, cognitive models, backgrounds, roles… there is a huge and important movement to diversity and inclusion.  It’s important that everyone understands and appreciates that

  1. Those that are different are not be tolerated. They are to be appreciated and valued.  They are strengthening your team and improving results if you embrace the perspective they can offer.
  2. Those that are different- you were brought in to be different. Fitting in is a common and normal habit – it makes sense.  Find a way to fit in by being you. Keep your unique perspective. Be authentic – that’s the real value.

Transcript (AI generated so forgive the typos)

Warren Hammond  02:13

Today, as always, interesting topic, the Rhino and Cattle model. Now, I'm going to be working really hard not to say too much in this because this is a story I have abused and abused so many times, Stephen, that it's going to be good to get it from the horse's mouth so to speak. So let's get into it. The Rhino and Cattle model? What is it?

Stephen Gribben  02:40

In essence, what it is is a Profiling framework. It'll help you to see yourself and understand others more as a process so that you can authentically connect, engage, understand and appreciate both yourself and others intelligently, rather than just see yourself or others through an emotional prism.

Warren Hammond  03:03

So I just thought it was a nice wildlife story, but already you've come up with lots and lots of four syllable words. So it's a profiling framework. So how I think about it, and you tell me which bits are right and which bits are nearly right, let's put it that way, this is a way of looking at yourself, looking at other people, and helping you to see the differences between them without it being good or bad.

Stephen Gribben  03:31

Yes it's to understand those differences, and accept those differences. Appreciate those differences, be okay with those differences and value them and expect them as opposed to seeing them and judging them on the basis of whether you like them or not, or whether you agree with them or not. So that it gets beyond either asking people to be more like you, or feeling the pressure for you to have to be more like them.

Warren Hammond  04:00

And you use the word already 'intelligent'. We talk a lot about when you're thinking intelligently it is more complex and nuanced versus emotionally which tends to be binary, black and white, good or bad, hero or zero. This is part of that. Intelligently looking at somebody and seeing the many different shades of of skills in them. They're not good or bad. They are just different. Unique.

Stephen Gribben  04:28

Yeah, if you're going to have relationships and you're going to be of influence then you first have to connect. So you need to know where people are to be able to connect.  What this allows you to do, even with this profiling we're going to use the caricatures of a rhinoceros and cattle. This isn't, then, to label people as either being Rhino or Cattle. But to understand if they are more Rhino or more Cattle, so that we can define more intelligently where they are, as we did with Trust before.  There's emotional trust, which is 100% or 0%, the 99 boxes in-between is where intelligent trust sits. Well, when we're profiling people, in terms of their characteristics, this is an objective process to see where they are on a scale, as opposed to just putting them in a box.

Warren Hammond  05:22

This makes sense. We think about workplaces at the moment, we've got so many different generations, and then there's  ages, there's genders, there's so many different spectrum at the moment in play, I can see that this is going to be useful for that. So firstly, internally, why is this important in terms of my own self development?

Stephen Gribben  05:48

In terms of your own self development, and the four pillars of that are your Self awareness, Self confidence, Self management, Self determination. Having a greater self awareness of where you are on the spectrum, from know the extreme Cattle to the extreme Rhino, where you are helps you become more self aware of where you are, what's important to you, what works for you, what matters to you, how you see the world, it reinforces that self awareness. It then also supports that self confidence that if you're more Rhino, it's okay, and it's pretty cool to be a Rhino, and if you're more Cattle, it's okay and pretty cool to be Cattle. So it's having that Self-Confidence that I know who I am, I know what I'm about, I'm okay with that.

Warren Hammond  06:37

So that profiling, that naming you talked about before, is when you name something, it's easier to manage it. Using these profiles of Rhino and Cattle help you to name and identify and acknowledge certain characteristics about yourself. And as you said, once you become aware of it, be absolutely fine about it, then, okay.

Stephen Gribben  06:56

Yeah, because it helps you get beyond the 'is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is that a strength or weakness, is it right or wrong? It's an objective Profiling. So you can see it is what it is, and that's okay. And if you've got that self awareness, of what you are and you're confident then of what you are more of, then you can move on to that self management. Which is managing then how you communicate with yourself, how you connect with yourself, how you position things with yourself, to your natural strengths, and tendencies. And then the last element is about self determination. You're then more empowered, more in control of being able to say 'what do I want to be? What is my full potential? What do I want to develop? Being successful by being you. Now knowing and understanding more about who you are on that profile allows you then to determine what success would look like for you, what happiness would look like for you, what health and fulfilment would look like for you, and being able to determine that rather than wait to hear what others think is best for you.

Warren Hammond  08:06

So in this one, we're talking rhinos and cattles, it doesn't matter where you are on it. But once you understand which you are, you can then use that to your advantage to determine what's going to happen next. You don't have to pretend to be something else, this is who you are. And that's enough. And that's good enough already.

Stephen Gribben  08:27

Yeah. And as I say, it takes you beyond the labelling of good or bad, right or wrong, strong or weak. It's just an objective, this is where you fit. In your opinion, this is where you fit and therefore, let's start from there, rather than the where am I not, who am I not, looking at the gaps all the time. It is building upon what's there. And then you take that externally to others, So if the self development is your piece in it, the external benefit of this is then it helps you build stronger relationships, authentic, genuine, sincere relationships, you being you, and them being them. It also allows you to connect. You don't have to be the same to connect. It's not about having something in common. It's about creating a connection. And therefore with that connection, you can be far more influential, you can add more value, you can make more of a difference. And the difference is it's of value to that other person. Because you have that connection. You will also have greater harmony through this, and importantly, less conflict. Because you're not forcing your way of looking at the world onto someone else who sees it differently. You will understand and expect they're going to see this differently and therefore they're going to respond to this differently. And so you can anticipate that more.

Warren Hammond  09:48

So by looking at their qualities you see they're different. You don't judge it as good or bad. You just understand it's different and knowing it's different, you know that there will be a different response. a different reaction, a better way of talking to them. And therefore, that's that, as you talk about many times, that connection is you can't influence from afar, you can't build trust from afar, you have to have that connection. So this enables you.  This is one of the basic building blocks then. This helps you get a connection with people who may be the same as you, or maybe different, but you're looking at it more clearly. Okay.

Stephen Gribben  10:30

And it helps you go beyond that tolerating people who are different than you. This helps you build credible value and appreciation for what they bring, rather than always comparing it to what you would rather they brought or what you're bringing, and therefore, that moves on to tolerance. This makes it into value and appreciation. It also helps with your communication. Because you can speak their language, you can position things in a way where they can connect and understand it better. And also, what you can do is request and advise on how best to communicate to you. This is this stuff that works for me, this is the way I'll respond best. So that you can then set clear expectations - both in the giving of expectation, and what to expect in return, which wraps up into that intelligent trust. Rather than thinking I can trust someone or I can't, you'll be able to clarify and identify specifically, what exactly can I trust. So that you can make more conscious decisions. Rather than feeling 'I should be able to, so I'm just going to', but actually, you make more conscious decisions. Wrapping all that up, you may not be happy. And therefore you might be disappointed. But it will be accurate disappointment. You might be disappointed that a Rhino is not going to respond the way you would prefer them to do if they were cattle, and vice versa. But it will be accurate disappointment, rather than the inaccurate optimism 'that I like this, therefore you should' or that inaccurate pessimism 'that you will never respond well to this but I'm going to still keep putting it to you in this way'.

Warren Hammond  12:19

There's a lot there. I like this idea that, first of all, that conflict can move to a tolerance when you've acknowledged their skills, to actually appreciating and valuing people. And that's a journey that I've gone on, but maybe not as consciously and intelligently, as you're suggesting can be done. I mean, I think we've all had those people who we just didn't understand. And then we start to think 'Oh, actually, I can see the job they do' to actually appreciating the massive value that they can bring to a team or to your life. Okay, I love that idea of being able to say to people, this is how to deal with me. I think you know, if you could have a manual around your neck, that people realise how best to get the best out of you, that would have saved me loads of hassle in the past. Yeah, okay. This is good. This is massive, this is important, it feels that this is one of our key building blocks. And this genuine connection with people, with yourself and with other people, this is going to help massively with that.

Stephen Gribben  13:32

I've used this for many, many years with people and it's almost become shorthand with some of those people will just say either Rhino or Cattle and we both know what they mean. There is a value and importance in this and there's fun involved. And this allows you to take a little bit of the intensity out of it, and allow yourself just to observe and see it through a humorous aspect. And caricature, which takes a little bit of the heat out of it, to be able to just look at it as a process. And to characterise people in two fantastic animals of Rhino and Cattle, but to see them on that basis allows you to look at it more objectively in a more relaxed and informal way. And as long as you do without judgement, then there's great clarity to be gained from it.

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