K2inCanada's Blog

December 24, 2014

The power of introverts

Filed under: Home, thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 8:00 AM

My new boss at work signed me up for the first time ever Leadership Training being done at the company I work for. I wasn’t too excited at first having done a few of them and always felt there are much more work than I am getting out of it. All these work together in groups and share your thoughts and be “smart” on demand thing just never worked for me. But of course I did not say no either. So there I was in the first day of training, sitting in between the CEO and CFO and COO and all the VPs and top level sales people in our company. It felt weird, even though I know all these guys and very few girls and interact with many of them at least on a weekly basis. In the first of six sessions the coach was talking about freeing your mind from being influenced by what happens around you. He was very passionate about it and hit a few marks here and there but overall I thought this was way to theoretical for me – too weird. There is no way I could exercise it to the extent of becoming the next Dahlia Lama. Waste of time?

For the next session, sessions are about a month apart each, we had some homework to do which was supposed to take 2-3 hrs. I spent a whole weekend on it and still did not finish. Mind you I almost finished it and thought to myself, no way they will cover all of it in the next session alone. So I should be good. And in fact, that next session didn’t even talk about the homework at all. It was a different person coaching that day and his approach resonated so much more with me. We looked at our personality types and how they are different and what each of them can bring to leadership. As I had imagined 70% of my companies leadership team are extroverts. There are about 20 people in the course. All 4 women are introverts, moderately so, but still. By the way my job requires me to be an extrovert most of the time. My profile also says I like to fly by the seat of my pants, moderately, which my Boss questions me on being a program manager. I call it being good at trouble shooting and flexible when things start to go wrong in my projects (and when is that never the case) :-). I honestly enjoyed the 2nd session and I do think about it almost daily trying to apply it at work.

The coach also said we should apply the learnings at home but by the time I get home all I want to do is turn my brain off – poor Jeff hardly gets to see me lately! Even today, Christmas Eve I woke up with the thought of all the things I need to finish off at work in the 4hrs. But when I got up and entered the living room and I finally realized it is Christmas Eve for crying out loud and I had not put up a single Christmas ornament or candle yet and all my course mates have already been on vacation since Friday of last week, I told myself to stop thinking about work! I went downstairs and brought up all the Christmas stuff. I put up some electric light into the ficus. I grabbed our mini tree we bought last Saturday from the outside and moved it into position for the traditional afternoon decoration session – which will only take 2 min since the tree is tiny. NOW I a finally start to get the Christmas Holiday feeling. I am ready to take a week and a half off and do the stuff I love to do with Jeff.

But the thing that really triggered this post was the TED talk I watched this morning which really brought all these thoughts to the surface. I really enjoyed it and maybe you would too if you are an introvert fighting to be an extrovert all day to fit into what is expected of you. Don’t get me wrong I like bossing engineers around at work :-).



1 Comment »

  1. I like that TED talk! My natural preference and style is introvert, so I can relate!

    Comment by Krista — December 25, 2014 @ 8:01 PM

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