The title of my blog Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is actually the title of a book by Susan Cain. The book is a New York Times Bestseller as it touched a nerve with many people who have now shared their own stories of struggle and acceptance of introversion. Susan Cain is also the co-founder of Quiet Revolution, her mission-based work transforming offices, schools, and leaders to take action toward the power of quiet. Listen to Susan’s TED Talk on introversion at: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts
I’m certified in numerous assessments, and I love how these evaluations give us context and language for how we think and behave. Not only do we learn about ourselves, but we learn about others and how to work and live together.
Here’s some additional information from the world of assessments. Fifty percent of people across the world are introverted (shy, quiet, great observers, think before they speak, and are engaged listeners), which means the other half of the world is extroverted (outgoing, think out loud, expressive, and gregarious). Also, introversion/extroversion are characteristics that are not gender-biased. Just as many women as men are either introverted or extroverted. Culturally we believe women are more extroverted than men, but that’s not the truth. The truth is in the data collected across the years. For example, Myers-Briggs, a personality trait sorter, has collected over fifty years of personality information across the globe. Emergenetics (pronounced emerge-genetics), a brain-based psychometric tool, has over 20 years of information. Data is showing overall that “people are people.” Tip: carefully exam what are cultural beliefs (often myths) versus what is the truth. Another misnomer is that those who think before they speak give better answers or more intelligent answers than those who answer quickly. There’s no research to validate this. Both introverts and extroverts have equal opportunity to provide the best answers.
The key piece I believed was missing from Susan Cain’s TED Talk is, when we talk about our personality traits, we believe some traits are better than others. Simply said, there’s no right or wrong in human personality traits. Our traits make us unique and they are our strengths. The key is to be self-aware of when your dominant traits work for you (strengths) and when those same dominant traits are not working for you (strengths overused). Contexts or situations often determine what strengths are needed. For example, early in my career I was quiet in meetings and very engaged in listening to what others said. Then I received feedback that I needed to speak up and contribute my expertise to the conversation. In this example, listening was a strength I overused.
One of the criticisms of assessments is that they label us and we are forever pigeon-holed by these traits. Over the years I’ve thought long and hard about this and here’s what I know today: Without assessments others will definitely pass judgment about who you are and what you do. With assessments there is a better chance to bridge understanding of who we are and how we contribute to the world. What we all need to remember is that people are complex and will flex their styles when the moment requires. There is no right or wrong, only different. The power is in accepting diversity of thought and behavior. That is what we should strive for and honor in one another.
If you are interest in taking the Myers-Briggs or Emergenetics assessments, please reach out to me at Dorothymontgomery@comcast.net, and I’ll provide you with free consultation on one of the two assessments.
Here’s to your success!