This week I was asked to speak to say goodbye to my colleague. In front of many, I wanted this 2-minute speech to be humorous but also authentic. I spoke with another colleague about how to begin. She commented on what she had heard me say… 'She’s the Yin to my Yang’. While I knew what I meant, I took some time to reflect and wondered how to describe it best. I thought of all the surface differences we have-
- She’s young and I’m not.
- She’s petite and well... I’m not.
- She’s a beginning teacher and I have more experience.
- She’s more reserved and private and me?…not so much.
This led to me thinking about introverts and extroverts and if you think extroversion relates to how outgoing someone is and introversion is the same as being shy, then that would represent the Yin and Yang I talk about. But there is a misconception about extroverts and introverts. The true meaning is-
- Introverts (or those of us with introverted tendencies) tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
- Extroverts on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.
I reflected on a post I wrote at the beginning of the year- “It’s not my work, it’s my passion”. http://andreastringer.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/its-not-my-work-its-my-passion.html Here I blogged about my thinking preferences. After completing the survey, I fell within the red/yellow category and I believe if my colleague completed this survey, she would be green/blue. So what does all this mean?
In essence, my weaknesses or challenges are her strengths.
The green personality is generally referred to as the calm personality. They don't easily get frazzled and are the essence of calmness even in most stressful situations. Their strengths are-
- Argue Rationally
- Generalise from specifics
- Problem-solve logically
- Critical Analysis
So I now understand why we need to have various personalities and strengths within organisations. Previously, I thought I worked best with educators 'like me', but this perception has been challenged. Now I believe we need to utilise people’s strengths. Balance appears to be key. Teams could be balanced to work more effectively. Utilising Visible Thinking Routines-
I used to think …that I typically work best with someone ‘like me’.
Now I think… that an effective team requires a balance of personalities.
Through analysing our relationship, I learnt something and I need to thank my wonderful colleague for proving to me that having different personalities works very well. The concept of personalities covers a large gamut and I’ve only observed one element. I'm also thinking that sometimes, you just click with someone and the magic just happens. A colleague no more, but simply my friend.