A lesson in passion and precision @DeptofCoffee

As someone who generally doesn't get bogged down in the nitty gritty (a typical Meyers Briggs "creative" type) I am not often drawn to the science or the methodology of my day to day existence. I don't spend hours pouring over data to find the gem, and I don't care to much attention to detail (if you've read this blog for any length of time you already know my spelling and grammar wouldn't pass the first round of 3rd year spelling bee). However this rule, like all rules has it's one exception, and for me that is food. I care a lot about food. I tend to think I generally am a lot more interested in eating than the general man on the street, and particularly so when it comes to a good cup of coffee.

Passion and precision

I spent most of last night with Chris and Tim at The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs on Leather Lane, Farringdon, as a guest at "Coffee School" - an initiative run by the store to teach caffeine addicts like myself just a little about the painstaking levels of accuracy and science that go into making a good well bodied espresso. Now not to bog you down in flow rates, brew ratios or how to create the perfect crema - for that I recommend taking the class - what I took away the most from the evening was how we take the most care with the things we care most about.

I can tend to get very VERY bogged down in how a Keynote document looks, how the grill lines on my Turkey steaks are cooked or how finely my milk is "stretched" when making a Flat White, but I don't much care about balancing a budget sheet or making sure that every line of a timesheet is filled out (for the record and if any clients are reading - of course I do these things, I'm just saying I don't feel I want to write home about them!).

Think about what you spend the most time and effort on, is it the things you love or things you would rather someone else did for you? If you are anything like me I am sure it is the former - which means often we can be most negligent about the detail of the things that really don't float our boat. However, for some people, making sure all the graphs are going in the same direction or spending hours to find that golden statistic is what they crave. It's those people we are most likely to rub up the wrong way in the workplace, the church or even the home!

Passions and pulls

I think the biggest reason why we grind one another's gears from time to time is a lack of understanding that one type of person is not lazy because they don't like Gantt charts, or another type of person is not anal because they love a good spreadsheet - it's just a difference of passions and pulls.

If you are experiencing friction with colleagues or loved ones, just take a second to think about is there a difference in passions here, and if there is, seek to find a way of getting passionate about what they are passionate about. In our marriage preparation course (a great course but I testify that nothing can prepare you for it!) I was told "if she's into shopping and Desperate Housewives - GET INTO shopping and desperate housewives!" - similarly my wife was told to "get into the rugby!". Why? Because as hard as you may try to understand what someone is into, or why they are asking you to do something you are never going to get on board unless you are passionate about it!

So they key to taking more care with the things we are not so keen on is caring more about them, to get precise in those things, you need to get passionate.