February 17, 2022

Introextrointroverts Unite

I'm an extroverted introvert who enjoys collaborating in team and group environments but must have alone time to recharge. Some days I prefer to work in my office and the phone calls, emails, and Zooms are enough people for me. In fact, my introverted traits are getting stronger as I get older. 

I am an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception) which means I am influenced by intuition and external connections. But there is a strong internal piece which is key to process how I feel about things and how they fit into my value system as well.

A Mixed Bag

When I look at the people I spend the most time with, it’s a mix, which is typical of an ENFP as I get energy from others and the varied traits they bring. And some of the closest people in my life are actually introverts. If you know one or are one, you know quiet and impersonal are not accurate descriptions of an introvert. Those in my life are incredibly personable, engaging, and funny. 

Being an introvert does not mean you dislike people and need to be alone all the time. I have a colleague who is an introvert and prefers to solve issues one-on-one in plain language through conversation and collaboration while her boss wants every report in triplicate to outline the effectiveness of the analysis of the plan. One gets energy from relationships while the other can’t operate without reports and structure. 

No Calls Please

One of my best friends – who is definitely an extrovert – is a very successful investment adviser who does most of his work with clients rather than sitting in his office doing paperwork. His energy comes from being with and helping people and he does it all day long. It is funny to note that he hates phone calls and will prefer to text if he has to use the phone at all.

So if you have someone on your team who isn't like you, celebrate that, celebrate them, and get to know their way, their perspective, and their view on the world. Our differences make our lives interesting.

Labels might be good for clothing but not for people. ________________________________________________________________

February 4, 2022

Bringing Our Work to Life

It has often been stated work is for work and if you want to interject something that is happening in your life, do that after work or during lunch, but work is for working.

While we see four generations trying to mix cultures in the workplace plus more telecommuting, virtual teaming, technology, and flex time, we are seeing a shift and the process may not be going smoothly in many cases. I’m not a fan of stereotypes but generally older employees are more resistant to change while the younger employees adapt quicker. The pandemic has forever shifted what work means to a large percentage of us. Some (many/most) companies may never return to the traditional Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm at your desk like a worker bee environment ever again.

Smile for the Camera

If you're like me, and millions of others, you spend your day working from home or on Zoom calls. This poses a unique challenge. I don't know about you, but I hate being on camera, so having meetings on TV makes me nervous and self-conscious.

But what is good culture? What does it mean to create a space people from all walks of life and demographics will enjoy and flourish? We know foosball tables and fancy coffee in the lunchroom isn't the answer. But blending generations, mixing perspectives, and allowing life to permeate your company will make it personal. 

How are you?

Through the last two years, we've all heard people say they can't wait until things get back to normal. This is now normal. Virtual teams, employees working from home, remote collaboration, and culture requires much more flexibility. 

The "new normal" featuring work environments with employees working remotely makes culture harder to define. But if we allow each other to bring some of our life to work on those calls and Zooms, we might see more of our work come to life.

It's worth a shot
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