When’s it my turn?

While talking to a colleague about conflict earlier this week, I had a vivid memory of a dilemma my mother once talked about. She was a very capable woman, working for the same company for over 40 years, rising from accounts clerk to Director while raising my brother and me as a single parent.

When she retired, she joined various local groups and enjoyed outings and the occasional holiday with her new friends. The problem she faced was that people always looked to her to organise things – after all, this was something she was very good at. Continue reading “When’s it my turn?”

Deadlines: the ultimate inspiration?

I’m one of those people who needs a deadline; without one, I’d never get anything finished.

As a Myers-Briggs practitioner, I know it’s a personality thing, typical of someone with a Perceiving preference. We like to keep things open for as long as we can, exploring options until the last possible minute when we pull everything together in a flurry of activity.

Continue reading “Deadlines: the ultimate inspiration?”

Those Greta Garbo moments

Travelling back from Belfast recently, I found myself stuck in the airport waiting for a delayed plane.  I was already tired and getting increasingly stressed and irritable. Around me, other passengers were running up and down trying to work out which gate they needed, calming down bored children or just making the most of the facilities.  All very loudly.

Getting to the limits of coping, I felt like screaming Greta Garbo’s famous line from Grand Hotel – “I want to be alone; I just want to be alone!” Continue reading “Those Greta Garbo moments”

How to Appear More Introverted

‘Modern society values extroverted people’ is a message introverts have been hearing all their lives.  Recently there has been some recognition that introversion brings its own strengths.  Susan Cain in particular has championed the cause, arguing that introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated. Continue reading “How to Appear More Introverted”

Planning – is it essential or constricting?

I sometimes hear people dismiss the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as being a bit like a horoscope, where the type descriptions are so general that they can apply to almost anyone. To back this up, they quote short extracts which do indeed sound as though they could fit a broad range of people. The horoscope analogy however fails when significantly different or complete opposite types are compared. The detailed descriptions show how each personality type is more than just the sum of each of the dimensions; it is the way the dimensions interact that gives MBTI its richness. Continue reading “Planning – is it essential or constricting?”

What comes first – the thinking or the feeling?

In most things, I don’t really mind if people agree with me, as long as what I say or do provokes a reaction. I was fascinated therefore by the passion with which some people argued the case for or against the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) when I recently wrote about it for TrainingZone. In a nutshell (and at the risk of oversimplifying sophisticated arguments), some dismissed it as pseudo-science and not sufficiently validated, while others stated that people and organisations nevertheless find it useful. Continue reading “What comes first – the thinking or the feeling?”

What role does intuition play in leadership?

Many years ago, I was a few months into a new job and my manager and I were struggling to communicate. She kept bombarding me with information that made no sense to me whatsoever, and whenever I reported back on a piece of work, she’d double-check every minute detail, leaving me convinced she thought I was totally incompetent. I of course thought she was the worst kind of micro-manager and needed to trust me to get on with my work. Continue reading “What role does intuition play in leadership?”

Are extraverts better leaders after all?

I can’t believe I’m actually asking this question. As an introvert myself, and as someone who passionately believes that organisations benefit from diversity, it feels almost like a betrayal of my fundamental values to suggest that extraverts are better at leadership than introverts. And yet, putting aside my own feelings for a moment, I wonder whether organisations still prefer their leaders to be extraverts. Continue reading “Are extraverts better leaders after all?”