Tanya Menon, an organizational psychologist, speaker, author, and consultant, delivered a talk on great opportunity for TED, to enlighten her audience, and show them how they can reach their potential by making changes to their social universes.
She begins by talking about how she's always able to remember former students of hers, as well as where they sat in her class, and who they were seated beside. She says she is able to remember this because she sees everyone keep to the same habits, and remain close to those they feel most comfortable with. The problem with this kind of social narrowing is that many students graduate only knowing a small group of people with similar views to them, which prevents them from gaining a network that's more diverse. Although this has always been common practice for most people, Menon shows just how limiting it can be to one's development.
Keeping this in mind, Menon explains how her audience can break free of this habit using simple strategies. One method that she brings up is to "use a more imperfect social search engine," meaning that people should change their routines to meet new people. In addition, she explains that it's important to be aware of the filters one uses to judge someone, which prevent them from widening their social world. By getting over an initial discomfort one might have with someone they're unfamiliar with, they're able to develop more meaningful connections, and become aware of new perspectives and experiences.
With her talk on great opportunity, Menon demonstrates the success people can achieve when they break out of their social habits, and open themselves up to new groups that have the potential to benefit them.
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