Contraxioms. Wait, what are contraxioms? Maybe a quick search on will do the trick. Nope, nothing comes up on Hmm…

According to The Geek Leader’s Handbook, contraxioms can be defined as a matched pair of contrasting axioms that give rise to vastly different worldview. Still does not quite make too much sense? Breakdown contraxioms into contra and axiom. Contra means opposite and axioms means a statement or position that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true. Boom., you know understand what contraxioms means.

Why are contraxioms even important? Contraxioms are important because there are underlying principles connecting the people who differ. When individuals begin to take the time to understand one another there is less disconnect and more unity.

What causes the most dysfunction when individuals differ? Well, there are seven different scenarios, types of contraxioms, providing awareness to the most vulnerable situations.

7 Types of Contraxioms:

(Contraxioms in bold denotes relevance to blog)


From the video above: Amy makes an aggressive move and Sheldon, as technical as he is, gets thrown off by the transmitted message.

  • Key takeaway – a technical person transmitting information can come off as irrational and aggressive.

Essential plug from The Geek Leader’s Handbook –

  • Geeks, language is for transmitting information
  • Non-geeks, language is for sharing a meaning

Now, let’s see how the language of an IT geek is communicated to Dunder Mifflin employees.

Break down the video above – name two or even three contraxioms. How did the geek communicate? What did his language perpetrate?

    • The geek is is infuriated by lies he discovers on each Dunder Mifflin employee hard drive.
  • Contraxioms
    • Language: LITERAL “You cannot fit into a size two.”
    • Significance of lying –  “Why you been telling people you are not Facebook? People want to be your friend man.”
    • Decision-making – flipping off Dunder Mifflin employees as he walks out.
    • Communication and language is fixed on transmitting information to employees of Dunder Mifflin

Let’s get into some real life geek application of contraxioms involving language –

A professor of mine recently gave a prime example of how he, as geek, communicates with his non-geek wife. Geeks view issues as an opportunity to solve a problem. While on the other hand, non-geeks see problems as a way to achieve a vision. Inevitably the geeky husband and non-geeky wife have opposing dinner conversation topics. My professor, who shall remain nameless, claims he does not want to talk about his feelings after work because he just spent eight-plus hours dealing with other people’s emotions at work. His wife on the other hand wants to talk about feelings and creating a vision to help and better understand people. No matter how much the non-geeky wife wants to share a meaning or cast a vision, her geeky husband does not budge – bottom line is to solve problems. #GEEKSRULE #NONGEEKSDROOL

Whether you are setting up a voicemail with your significant other or you are communicating what you found on a corporate hard drive, language is important.  Developing language contraxiom competence is essential. Unity is derived when there is an understanding of one anther. Contraxioms allow two opposing views to come together under a common understanding. Take on the challenge of understanding someone different from you and practice the fundamentals on contraxioms.

JUST FOR FUN – As a CPA candidate, I would consider myself to be a technical person. Take a couple minutes to appreciate dry accounting humor. Pay attention to how literal each accountant is and how he or she gives a valiant effort to break their technical nature for a few mere seconds. Also, take a note on how many different jokes are actually said.

Remember, I did not choose the public accounting life, it chose me.



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