Last week I did a Leadership foundations course put on by Bluteau DeVenney through my work place. In preparation for the course we completed various assessments on our natural leadership style, strengths, and our various types. Throughout the week I found myself relating what I was learning to how I operate in the world. I’m a pretty introspective type of person, so I tend to examine my own motives and ways of doing things on a regular basis. This was different though. Because I had answered all of these questions regarding what I would or would not do or what I favor in a variety of circumstances, I was able to gain new insights. Putting the information together to look at my individual style was also telling.
My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator revealed that I am a INFP – introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving – type. Although I do do things that some would interpret to mean I am an extrovert (such as teaching yoga and public speaking) it comes as no surprise to me that I was quite high on the introversion scale. I’m a very inward person. I re-energize by spending time alone; I’m okay at a party, but I tend to be the one in the corner talking with my existing friends. I form ideas in my head long before I reveal them to others. The INFP type tends to be idealistic, loyal to values and wants the world they live in to be consistent to their values. We INFP’s are quite adaptable and flexible- unless a value is threatened! This is so me. The funny thing, though, is I didn’t realize how driven by my values I was until looking at the results of this assessment and thinking about it. My values are very important to me and I hadn’t even considered it before. So what do I value? After doing a ‘values focuser’ it was revealed that my top five values are emotional well-being, peace of mind, self-respect, independence and fulfillment. Again, not a surprise, but I hadn’t considered how driven I was by these values. They’re kind of everything to me!
Another assessment that we completed is called the Kolbe. This revealed that I am a “Quick Start” meaning my natural way is to experiment, to be innovative, promote change. Alternatively I have trouble conforming and sticking to a script and editing ideas. This last one made me laugh because I rarely edit what I write on this blog or even when I was writing papers in university. The quick start in me is something that stresses some of my colleagues however. When looking at the other types I realized how much stress I could be causing because of my jump right in and figuring things out as I go approach. I’ll do my best to ‘curb my enthusiasm’ to let others get on board before I start moving from now on.
All in all this was a very useful tool for me; a new way to gain perspective on how we humans work together and play together. I always enjoy learning what makes me and others tick. It helps me to let go of things that I truly don’t need to be hanging onto; helps me to see where I might be inclined to fight the good fight (when my values are threatened) and to see that just because I value these things doesn’t mean everyone does. By realizing I don’t need to participate in the fight, I’m that much closer to the harmonious peace of mind that I seek in my professional life.