One of the things I know for sure, is that when we are who we truly are, and walk in our authenticity, we walk with much more power. My favorite definition of ‘Authentic Power’ comes from the author Gary Zukov. Authentic power occurs “when your personality comes to serve your soul.”
I am a strong believer when we are true to who we ‘are’ and we allow ourselves to be seen and walk in that power, everything feels more in-line. Being someone you are not, is really and truly exhausting. A question that comes up often in coaching and training is ‘Who am I?’ So, who are you? How would you define yourself? If I asked you to leave out the job and family titles, who are you? Can you tell me about your personality?
Personality is very important in the success equation. It isn’t whether or not you have the type of personality to make you successful, but it is more about whether you can embrace your personality and have it serve you in your different roles.
In training, I often find that the concept of ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ often comes up. It’s extremely important that leaders understand where they fall on this spectrum as well as where their employees fall as well. An extroverted leader, who is big on group discussions and Friday afternoon team building at happy hour, may unknowingly make an introverted employee feel frustrated and uncomfortable.
For much of my life I have been certain I am an extrovert : an extrovert surrounded by introverts to be exact. After reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet a few years ago, I did start to question whether I was simply a talkative introvert, but threw that idea out the window pretty quickly. With my increased love for sipping wine with my Kindle at restaurants around Providenciales, I have truly started to question whether I am in fact crossing over to the introvert side, or whether I am simply a mom-preneur being intentional about self-care time.
This led me back to what really makes us an introvert or an extrovert. We often think extroverts are talkative and introverts are shy, but this really isn’t the case. Often extroverts do enjoy being chatty, but this can be a quality of introverts as well. Introverts are often not shy, but more reserved and often deeper thinkers that wait for the opportune time to share their thoughts. It’s important that our personality type is more defined by what fuels us. Take time to evaluate how you re-charge yourself. Also, I challenge you to think of introversion and extroversion as a spectrum.
Extroverts tend to recharge by being social. They enjoy conversations in groups and tend to speak up whenever the opportunity presents itself. Extroverts tend to open up quickly and don’t mind being in the spotlight. Introverts tend to recharge spending time alone or in one-on-one situations. Introverts tend to be good listeners. They reflect a fair bit before making decisions and take more care before they open up to others.
My own potential shift in personality type, caused me to evaluate the way in which I re-charge myself and whether I am intentionally allowing my personality traits in this season in my life to serve me. As I revisited a few of ways we energize and our personality traits, I found myself constantly drawn to this new word that keeps finding its way to my radar: Ambivert. An ambivert is someone that exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion. Ambiverts tend to flip depending on the their mood and context.
So I challenge you to take some time and evaluate your personality in your current season. Whereas in the past, I would have encouraged an exploration of the dichotomy of introversion vs. extroversion, I now encourage you to look at the personality spectrum and see where you fall today. Are you leaning towards extroversion, in ambivert territory, or settled in the land of introversion?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to spark your thought process.
When we live a life where we compliment our nature, not only does it make us feel balanced, but also it shapes the energy we release. It might be worthwhile to take the time to do an online quiz or some introspection to see where you fall on the personality spectrum during this season in your life.
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.