Sharing first and the value it brings.

Think about a time you were in a class, at an event, or in a work meeting and people were asked to share experiences, stories, themselves, or knowledge. Most everyone is hesitant to go first. Why? There is no structure. The first person who goes creates the bulk of the structure. Usually, after the first person goes, the next people add on more structure and by the fourth person, the structure from person to person doesn’t change much.

This phenomenon has an unintended consequence, the person who went first did the most heavy lifting to build the structure, yet the people who followed after were better as they were able to add things from the participants that preceded them. This holds people back from going first. This is what is holding you back from taking action today on something you know you can do, even though you’ve never seen anyone else do it. There is fear that if you do it, someone will improve on what you’ve done, then you’ll be back to nothing.

Thinking in that mindset is wrong. The people who go first aren’t devalued, and the people who run the show, often times they understand this phenomenon. It’s why they ask their most senior people or top performers to share first. If the person with the best structure goes first, every successive person’s sharing will be better for it as they will all see the example and add the appropriate pieces they never even thought about sharing. If that best person goes last, everyone will share a worse version than what they would have if they had a better example to start.

If you have a talent, go first more often. You’ll improve things just by doing so.