There is ideal and then there is typical…don’t be typical.

Have you ever heard someone refer to someone or something as normal or typical?

This will be a “normal” meeting.

This will be a “typical” group session.

This quality is the “norm”.

This style is “typical” of what we do.

Don’t be typical.  Don’t be normal.  Strive for the ideal and do away with normal.

What Normal Suggests.

The Positive with potential Repercussions.

When we use that language it becomes a standard people assess.  This is the norm.  This is what we can expect when we walk in. These are the typical people we can expect to deal with when we interact with you and your team.  If we set something up as normal then it can have the potential to bite us when not everyone on our team meets that norm.  People could begin to set expectations and then have a harsh realization that their expectations aren’t really the norm.

The Negative Ramifications of the Typical.

When we say normal, it may lead people to believe that there is to anything special about what we are setting out to accomplish simply because it is typical and normal.  Rather than set false expectations or falsely advertise the community, business, people, meeting talk in terms of ideal and destination of what something would look like when everything is working well.

Strive for Ideal.

When introducing people, or committing to an idea set it up as the ideal.  This is the ideal candidate for the position.  Not everyone may fit that description but it succeeds at communicating two things:

1.  Ideal Language communicates expectations for those on the team.

  • Set the bar high and encourage your people to get there.  Give them an “ideal” picture of their role and continue to encourage them in the process towards that goal.

2.  Ideal language communicates tapered expectations by outsiders.

  • When people are evaluating your team or community or business they get a sense that you are in process and that you have a vision and destination you are racing towards.  Never over promise and under deliver – instead taper expectations and exceed them with glimpses of the ideal.

Where have you seen “typical” language hurt your team and where have you seen “ideal” language build momentum?




4 thoughts on “There is ideal and then there is typical…don’t be typical.

  • In missions sometimes “typical” language can come across like this, “Well they’re just a really tough people group to reach” or “I guess no one wants to support missions any more so we’ll just have to survive with less funds”. While there is truth to both of those statements sometimes there is more excuse for the way things are than truth.

    • How true is that! That first one really rings true in personal experience and hits me hard- don’t settle for typical caleb thanks for the thoughts man- are you involved in some type of mission work locally or internationally?

        • Keep doing it Caleb that is awesome man- my wife and I worked with a local church in eastern europe for just under a year and my eyes were opened to Gods bigger picture around the world and the work he is doing all across europe. I look forward to checking out your stuff more often to continue to hear what God is doing

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