OK, a big, not commonly used word.
The definitions are: (adjective)
agreeing; accordant; congruous.
In Geometry: coinciding at all points when superimposed: congruent triangles.
Something is congruent when it “fits” with something that would be “normal” or standard for us. It “fits” when it lines up with or is consistent with something we say or do, or are.
Yet, there are so many things in our life that are incongruent. They don’t “fit” with who we are, or who we say we are, or reality.
Skinny jeans are incongruent for an overweight person. (for me, slim fit shirts just don’t work, the label may say it’s the size I wear, but the fact that it’s slim fit is incongruous to everything else I wear)
If you saw an orange on an Apple computer, that’s incongruent, it doesn’t fit.
Every day we put on an outfit and I’m not talking about literal clothes! We need to insure it what we “wear,” fits with who we are. As organizations our “outfits” are our tag lines, mission and vision statements.
If you advertise that you are welcoming, but your guests feel like they’re a nuisance, that doesn’t fit.
If your mission statement says you bring out the best in your employees, yet your employees feel like all you care about are the numbers, that doesn’t fit.
Walking into incongruence is like being shell-shocked, caught unaware, disoriented, and even more importantly, cheated, disappointed, frustrated, even angered. When we don’t get what we’re told we’re going to get, it doesn’t fit what we expected to get.
My challenge to every organization out there is to ask yourself ever day: Does it fit? And, Every. Single. Employee. Ask the same question; “does it fit?” Are we who we say we are?
Take time in the fitting-room of life (and business) to insure you are who you say you are.
Then, your customers and employees will wear you proudly, because it fits.