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We had some friends around for dinner the other night and the topic of conversation eventually turned its way to music.

I asked my friend what music they liked and their answer surprised me.

“I don’t really like music”.

What…? I thought everyone liked music? Apparently not.

Turns out, they didn’t grow up in a family that found listening to music very important, and so didn’t really do it much. Also, their family didn’t play any instruments and were never caught up in listening to popular music.

It just didn’t factor in their childhood and so doesn’t really factor in their adulthood either.

I found this to be astonishing as music has always played such a big part in my life. And whilst I am aware that music might not be as important to others as it is to me, I guess I always figured that everyone likes some sort of music.

But just because something is important to you, doesn’t mean it is important to someone else. Even things we assume are important to everyone.

For instance, everyone wants to be promoted to be a manager, don’t they? Or everyone loves to have a bit of public recognition, don’t they?

Of course they don’t.

Everyone is different and is motivated by different things. For some people its money, for others, it’s job satisfaction. Some people thrive on public praise and attention, others prefer a quiet word of thanks.

If you are trying to lead & motivate a team or trying to run a project, don’t assume that the same things are important to everyone. Find out. Ask them.

It may give you a different perspective that helps improve performance or keeps your project on track.

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