Unabashedly data-driven, I try to out-think surveys and big-picture what you’re asking me before you finish the question. But send me to a teambuilding exercise and I must summon all my inner strength, rationing my energy to last through the workshop and not poke my eyes out. I am blue, according to this course, and the people who create these courses and make me go to them are NOT.
I have been to other workshops in the past, most more painful than this one, and I attribute the lessened pain to the fact that while I’m an introvert, I’ve developed skills over the years to help me work pretty well with people. (Also, this event happened with a team I’ve been a part of for several years and we already get along pretty well, plus most of us are blue, so there weren’t any big surprises…but then it wasn’t as effective either and I think a lot of us were frustrated with missing a day of work.) The problem with personality-analyzing teambuilding classes, for me, is that it exposes how incompetent I am naturally (at least that’s how I tend to read my personality assessments) and makes me doubt all the confidence boosts I’ve had as I’ve seen my skills grow. Basically, team building takes me back a few steps. I was physically drained for hours after this event as well.
The good information from these exercises is learning what helps me work effectively, what things I can work on, and acknowledging what drives me nuts. But most of that I’ve already figured out (analyzing data, after all) and once you get a grasp of your general assessment (INTJ or blue, specifically Coordinating Observer, or CIR or whatever you want to call it in my case), you don’t really need to rehash it, and you especially don’t want to do it in a group with a lot of flip charts or *shudder* roleplaying.
A few highlights of my expensive assessment:
-I am motivated by avoiding frequent meetings, an internal desire “to do the right thing in the right way,” a job well done, and “systems” related tasks.
-I may benefit from relaxing mentally and not trying to out-think everyone, practicing initiating conversation (particularly small talk) with strangers, and an awareness of when I am acting defensively or cynically.
-Key strengths: open minded, objectivity, good memory for details (no shit!), pragmatic/rational thinker, responsible/methodical and work well with figures and procedures (also no shit!).
-Possible (more like confirmed) weaknesses: I don’t respond well to uncertainty, my modesty and reticence prevents timely interventions, I require extra time to complete tasks, I can appear too unemotional or uninvolved.
-Value to the team: I have a strong sense of duty and take my work seriously, I handle complexity well, and I carefully assess situations before acting.
-To communicate with me, accept that “reflecting time” is essential to enhance my performance, ask my opinions of other systems and projects, respect my values and principles, and give me plenty of time to think through answers to your questions.
-DO NOT be too loud and hearty, implement change for change’s sake, or comment on my appearance (this made me laugh but is pretty true!).
-I also found it funny that management should help me tolerate colleagues less gifted than myself.
Basically I need to know WHY WHY WHY and THINK ABOUT THE DATA FOREVER. And then if it’s complex enough and I’m interested enough, I’ll do an awesome job solving your problem. But it will take me forever to make a decision about it.
There’s also a section on Living on Purpose, and the first sentence is “Amy may be rather dubious about the whole principle of goal-setting.” Seriously. It says I process the data and adjust as I go and that’s very true. It also notes that I may take home the worries of the day. Wow, if I could control that better, I’d get a lot more done and feel a lot less guilty. And maybe I wouldn’t feel chained to my pager.
At the end of the whole thing it turns out that while I’m only expressing 3% yellow (my opposite color, basically the inspiring sunshiney people-people), and I’m expressing 96% blue, I’m not even in the most severe blue part of the charts and I’m quite well balanced with 69% green expression (the ‘supporters’) and even 37% expressed red (the ‘directors,’ like many people in supervision). So while red people scare me, this helps me deal with my boss better and I have some sense of how she thinks, and while yellow people make me bonkers, there aren’t any in my department so I guess I don’t need to worry about it right now!
Ok, thanks for letting me analyze that data. Since it’s processed and will be remembered forever I can move on to the next thing.