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17 Nov 2018, Edition - 1222, Saturday

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How neophiliac are you?

Archana Rohit

We live in a world where change is the only constant. We as humans have learnt to adapt ourselves to change, though some look forward to change and thrive only to readily embrace it. If you glance around you’ll find a majorly of three kinds of people:

·Neophobes – People who like their comfort zone and do not like anything new

·Neophiles – People who somewhat like new things and are ready to explore new things.

·Neophiliacs – People who crave for new things and want to possess those things “NOW”.

Organisations face difficulties retaining the neophiliacs and estimates are that 15 per cent qualify to be in that slot. Neophiliacs are people who have a strong affinity for novelty. Hence, they are better known as “novelty seekers”. There can be three types of neophiliacs:

·Social Neophiliacs: They like meeting new people and love networking

·Intellectual neophiliacs: They like reading and love keeping themselves updated

·Kinesthetic neophiliacs: They like adventure and love the thrill that comes from discovering unknown places.

How do you know you have a neophiliac in your team?

You know you have a neophiliac in your team when someone possess the following qualities:

· He/ She readily adapts to rapid change

· He/ She tries to critically analyse and questions. the tradition about routine and repetitive work.

· He/ She loses interest quickly.

· He/ She has the desire to find a new way to do things

· He/ She is curious and asks questions

The question crops up of how to deal with neophiliacs

1. Identify the type of neophiliac: If the employee likes to be social give work which would make him/her interact with people more. If the employee likes to read give work which would require him to read and research from various sources.

2. Give them challenging work: Neophiliacs should be given new tasks to quench their thirst for seeking novelty. They hate monotony and doing the same thing again and again would make them feel underutilised.

3. Let them find their own solution: Give them the liberty and freedom to do things their own way. Give them deadlines. Tell them what to do but refrain from telling them how to do things. Give them the space to explore new ways of doing things.

4. Reward them: Appreciate them for the new idea, process that the employee has introduced to keep him/her motivated. Neophilliacs are highly oriented toward seeking and getting rewards.

Certain Challenges with Neophiliacs:

·They are spontaneous

·They are disorganized

·They take impulsive decisions

·They don’t like to be hemmed down by rules and regulations

Overcoming Challenges

Neophiliacs are drawn to new situations, experiences, and, of course, possessions. They like to invent and come up with new things to showcase their creativity. It is plausible that they might want to execute something which might be disastrous. But,

1.Be supportive: Instead of telling them to curb their enthusiasm, channelise the enthusiasm and curiosity in a productive manner.

2.Be patient : Hear them out. Keep them in your vicinity to guide them, make them realise the pros/cons of their actions/decisions and most importantly make them aware of the impact their decision might have on the situation.

To get the most benefit the from novelty-seeking, it’s important to help neophiliacs keep the balance in mind between sameness and change.