Embracing Differences and Maximizing Strengths


My husband and I have been married for over 38 years. Not all 13,870+ days have been blissful. (Wow, that sounds like a reeeaaaally long time, huh?) Actually, we get along really well considering how many little things we don’t have in common. He likes country music, I like rock and roll; he likes vanilla and I’m all about chocolate; he likes drama and real-life movies and I’m more into comedy and sci-fi. It makes you wonder, what can we agree on?

When we do have an argument—err, I mean a discussion—it usually stems from a slight misunderstanding of the facts. In other words, we are not on the same page. He will be on chapter two and I’m focused on reading the table of contents.

But what has kept our relationship strong through the years is that we both have core values that are similar and we share common goals. We both want to “read the same book” even though we go about it in different ways. Realizing that we see and do things differently, that we both have strengths and weaknesses, and that we’re committed to working through relationship differences keeps our marriage strong.

Learning each other’s ways and adjusting for differences goes a long way in promoting workplace relationships as well. Just like any good marriage, our Access team has common values and goals that are important to our company’s success. And it takes our whole team, despite our varied personalities and strengths, to reach these goals.

Through my work in administrative services and human resources, I interact with most people at the company. The employees that are successful and a good fit for our team know how to keep their strengths from becoming a weakness. I know this sounds crazy but a true strength, if left unchecked, has the potential to become a less-than-positive trait. 

For example, a good administrative employee usually possesses the ability to be very detailed in their work. This can be a plus in some situations, but can also limit their production if they don’t balance it with good organization and prioritization. They may have a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver as they are too caught up in the small stuff.

Or another talented colleague may possess enormous drive and determination when jumping into a project, but sometimes may lack the attention to detail for filling out paperwork—umm, I mean eForms. They may tend to just focus on major activities and not the minor ones that are also crucial. 

The good news is this: our employees possess similar values and seek the same goals for our company.   Our differences give us opportunities to lift up and support each other. This allows each individual to focus on their strengths, do what they’re best at, and then pull together to make a solid team.

And just for the record, I know I have some weaknesses to work on. Let’s not tell my husband.

About The Author - Beth Adams

In the tradition of John and Sam Adams, Beth is a founding mother of Access—helping to build the company from the ground up on day one. Now director of Administrative Services, she oversees all administrative functions for the company, including AR, AP, HR and much more. Just as importantly, Beth is a Sunday school secretary, mother of three and grandmother of six.

Feel free to email me here.