What are You Trying to Prove?

Have you ever run into an old acquaintance and felt the need to prove yourself? 

Maybe the last time you saw each other was in high school and they’ve moved on to some high-flying career. Or maybe you’re experiencing a rut in your own work and just feel the need to impress someone. 

The Urge to Prove

Regardless of circumstance, most of us have felt the need to prove ourselves to someone at some point in our lives. GiANT Co-founder, Jeremie Kubicek, shares his own story about a recent encounter that left him feeling anxious to prove himself:

“Over the past few weeks, I have run into a number of old relationships who knew me in another stage of life and another decade. They knew the more immature me and probably have me pegged as that same cocky guy who was trying to prove that he was somebody important.

As one particular encounter unfolded, I listened to this person list off all of their achievements since we had last met. When the person asked what I had been up to, I immediately felt an old desire to prove to this person any successes and wins that I had had since the time I had known them. I didn’t like the feeling of such a sudden, defensive urge, so I paused and shared some general updates about my family and then moved on.”

So here is the gut-check question: where does the instinctive desire to prove ourselves come from? Why is it so important to let others know how important we are?

Self-Preservation

Many of us who study personality wiring can probably pinpoint a few triggers deep within our personality types that cause such a knee-jerk reaction to validate ourselves. For Jeremie, he realized some of his natural insecurities as an ENFP were the culprits. Consequently, he had to confront the defensive pride that welled up so that it would not prompt actions or words he would later regret.

Now, what about you? What are you trying to prove? What is the insecurity in your life that is mitigating your influence with others?

In his book Making Your Leadership Come Alive, Jeremie wrote about the plague of self-preservation. The premise is that when you overprotect what you are afraid of losing, you will lose it sooner. Trying to prove yourself actually ends up hurting you more, because when fear begins to drive, your actions to prove your worth end up undermining your credibility in the eyes of others. It leads to bragging, exaggerating, or credit-stealing behavior, not to mention a general tone-deafness that results in being known as self-important or arrogant. 

Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Hide, Nothing Lose!

It is imperative to become fluent in self-awareness so that you can regulate and lead yourself in the times when self-preservation wants to guide your behavior.

In the end, if we can state these phrases honestly and accurately in our lives, we will become leaders worth following:

I have nothing to Prove!

I have nothing to Lose!

I have nothing to Hide!

How far away are you from being at this stage of secure, confident humility?

We all have an ongoing journey of self-awareness to travel, but if we approach each day with a desire to regulate our patterns so that our insecurities can’t control us, we will gain an increasingly greater ability to focus on others more than ourselves.

Dive Deeper!

If you want to dive deeper into understanding why you do certain things or face certain growth challenges, our other Co-founder, Steve Cockram, has filmed a series of amazing videos at https://giant.courses that are free to view and study for your own benefit.

Know yourself so you can lead yourself!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how self-preservation affects leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

3 Ways to Re-Engage Half-Hearted Employees

Do you have wholehearted people in your life? 

Who do you know that is fully in or completely devoted to something? They’re the type of people who, as Thoreau once put it, “suck out all the marrow of life.” They live with passion and purpose. When they dive into something, they attack it with every bit of experience, intelligence, and dedication they have. They don’t shy away from relationships or challenges, but take them head-on and work to make the most out of them.

Make a list of those people you consider to be wholehearted. Who comes to mind?

Now, who do you know that is half-hearted? Are there people you work with who are not fully “in” or devoted to the team/organization? They tend to be those who feel like they always have one foot out – out of the relationship, the work, the team, etc.

Make a second list of those you consider to be half-hearted.

Learning Opportunities for Half-hearted People

Now it’s time to drill down to the heart of the issue: what makes the difference between wholehearted vs. half-hearted people? For those in your organization, how much of this attitude depends on them and how much do you believe depends on you as a leader or organization to cultivate?

When people are only giving half-hearted efforts, they cause direct and indirect damage to those around them, whether family, colleagues, or organizations. Their primary need is to find a way to take responsibility and re-engage with the people, world, and obligations around them. 

Unfortunately, the reason for this hesitance can derive from many places, whether it be getting burned in the past, being overburdened in other areas of life, or because they avoid giving too much of their trust and commitment to others. The following are 4 ways in which half-hearted people can learn to re-engage:

4 Areas of Accountability for the Half-Hearted

  1. Many half-hearted people need to learn to trust people more since withholding trust often indicates an untrustworthy nature yourself.
  2. In some cases they need to forgive previous leaders in past experiences before they can move forward in their present reality.
  3. Half-hearted people also usually need improvement in communication. Their tendency is to have high expectations, but not tell anyone about them because they are not invested enough to do so. However, this disconnect only causes bitterness and distance.
  4. Half-hearted people need to learn to lead themselves well. This requires being honest about faults and strengths and then applying personal accountability to spur greater investment of time and effort that will result in stronger connections with others. 

Every person harbors a different reason for being half-hearted in their pursuits and relationships, so the changes or drivers that will get them back on track may change from person to person. However, the list above provides a greater starting point for re-asserting the type of personal discipline that will spark much needed re-engagement with the life around them.

Responsibilities of the Wholehearted

It’s not just up to the half-hearted hangers-on, though. Aside from the fact that many of us – even those who seem fully invested in everything we do – will go through similar phases of life in which certain areas may receive less than our full attention; we always have a responsibility to help half-hearted people become engaged. Here are a few tips to help re-engage those co-workers, employees, or family members who seem to be checked out:

3 Ways You Can Help Re-Engage the Half-Hearted

  1. Bust through the veneer. Get inside the mind and heart and talk to the potential missed expectations or fears that keep them holding back their best effort.
  2. Lean forward, not backward. Half-hearted people have a tendency to become victims. They expect people to move away and then blame them for issues. Do the opposite. Encourage accountability and provide them with the support they need to take you up on it. Either way, you will either get them in the game or they will leave.
  3. Create an environment or atmosphere where people must be whole-hearted or the team will correct them rather than you (if you’re the leader). A whole-hearted culture won’t put up with veneer or a façade, and it’ll make the gradual slip into disengagement much harder to continue unnoticed.

The role of the leader is to create an overall cultural atmosphere that invites people to go deep and to be who they are meant to be. So lean in, set the tone with your example. Go deeper and press for a wholehearted culture. It is so much better than a shallow, half-hearted drama factory.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how half-hearted cultures affect your organization, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

3 Ways to Re-Energize Half-Hearted Employees

Do you have wholehearted people in your life? 

Who do you know that is fully in or completely devoted to something? They’re the type of people who, as Thoreau once put it, “suck out all the marrow of life.” They live with passion and purpose. When they dive into something, they attack it with every bit of experience, intelligence, and dedication they have. They don’t shy away from relationships or challenges, but take them head-on and work to make the most out of them.

Make a list of those people you consider to be wholehearted. Who comes to mind?

Now, who do you know that is half-hearted? Are there people you work with who are not fully “in” or devoted to the team/organization? They tend to be those who feel like they always have one foot out – out of the relationship, the work, the team, etc.

Make a second list of those you consider to be half-hearted.

Learning Opportunities for Half-hearted People

Now it’s time to drill down to the heart of the issue: what makes the difference between wholehearted vs. half-hearted people? For those in your organization, how much of this attitude depends on them and how much do you believe depends on you as a leader or organization to cultivate?

When people are only giving half-hearted efforts, they cause direct and indirect damage to those around them, whether family, colleagues, or organizations. Their primary need is to find a way to take responsibility and re-engage with the people, world, and obligations around them. 

Unfortunately, the reason for this hesitance can derive from many places, whether it be getting burned in the past, being overburdened in other areas of life, or because they avoid giving too much of their trust and commitment to others. The following are 4 ways in which half-hearted people can learn to re-engage:

4 Areas of Accountability for the Half-Hearted

  1. Many half-hearted people need to learn to trust people more since withholding trust often indicates an untrustworthy nature yourself.
  2. In some cases they need to forgive previous leaders in past experiences before they can move forward in their present reality.
  3. Half-hearted people also usually need improvement in communication. Their tendency is to have high expectations, but not tell anyone about them because they are not invested enough to do so. However, this disconnect only causes bitterness and distance.
  4. Half-hearted people need to learn to lead themselves well. This requires being honest about faults and strengths and then applying personal accountability to spur greater investment of time and effort that will result in stronger connections with others. 

Every person harbors a different reason for being half-hearted in their pursuits and relationships, so the changes or drivers that will get them back on track may change from person to person. However, the list above provides a greater starting point for re-asserting the type of personal discipline that will spark much needed re-engagement with the life around them.

Responsibilities of the Wholehearted

It’s not just up to the half-hearted hangers-on, though. Aside from the fact that many of us – even those who seem fully invested in everything we do – will go through phases of life in which certain areas may receive less than our full attention, we also have a responsibility with half-hearted people to help them become engaged. Here are a few tips to help re-engage those co-workers, employees, or family members who seem to be checked out:

3 Ways You Can Help Re-Engage the Half-Hearted

  1. Bust through the veneer. Get inside the mind and heart and talk to the potential missed expectations or fears that keep them holding back their best effort.
  2. Lean forward, not backward. Half-hearted people have a tendency to become victims. They expect people to move away and then blame them for issues. Do the opposite. Encourage accountability and provide them with the support they need to take you up on it. Either way, you will either get them in the game or they will leave.
  3. Create an environment or atmosphere where people must be whole-hearted or the team will correct them rather than you (if you’re the leader). A whole-hearted culture won’t put up with veneer or a façade, and it’ll make the gradually slip into disengagement much harder to go without noticing.

The role of the leader is to create an overall atmosphere in the culture that invites people to go deep and to be who they are meant to be. Lean in, set the tone with your example. Go deeper and press for a whole-hearted culture. It is so much better than a shallow, half-hearted drama factory.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how half-hearted cultures affect your organization, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

One Quality Every Great Leader Shares

Leadership.

It’s a term you hear all the time. People talk about good leaders and bad leaders, incompetent leaders and absent leaders, but how often do we dive into the specifics of what it means to be a good leader?

Not often. Leadership is a common topic, but its core competencies are rarely identified or defined.

Note: We discussed Liberating Leadership in a recent podcast episode. To listen to it on iTunes, click here and subscribe to stay up to date. Or, you can read more here.

Leaders Worth Following

Here at GiANT Worldwide, we strive to help people all over the world become what we like to call “leaders worth following.” The key distinction here is the idea of leaders “worth” following versus leaders people “have to” follow.

If we use the “have to follow” criteria, then there are plenty of leaders out there. Anyone with a title and a taskmaster attitude can technically be called a leader. But we believe leaders can be more than that. Moreover, we believe true leaders should be more than that. We believe they should be worth following because others want to – because they inspire, encourage, and challenge others to become the best versions of themselves.

So, what does it look like to be a leader worth following?

The Liberating Leader 

It’s easiest to explain with a tool called the “Support-Challenge Matrix.” The Support-Challenge Matrix works on the idea that the best leaders are those who calibrate a healthy level of both support and challenge for their team. We call these people “Liberating Leaders,” or “Liberators.” This means the leader knows when to bring an appropriate level of support – encouragement, training, resources, etc. – but also when to call their people up to a higher level of work or conduct. This “challenge” entails bringing accountability, standards, deadlines, and when appropriate, reprimand, to the table. The resulting environment is a culture of empowerment where people are challenged to be the best they can be, while also receiving the opportunity to be stretched beyond their comfort zone for the sake of personal and professional growth.

Leaders who intentionally cultivate such an environment are fighting for the highest possible good in the lives of all those they lead.

That is the holy grail. Our ambition is to be those people in every circle of influence, whether that’s with our family, our friends, our teams, our organizations, or even our leadership roles in the wider community.

The Journey Ahead

But leadership is an on-going, day-to-day journey. Sometimes we exhibit liberator tendencies at work, whereas other days we may act more like a dominator in the wider organization, a protector with our team, or an abdicator at home.

We will dive deeper into the Support-Challenge Matrix in later posts to uncover what it means to lean towards Dominator, Abdicator, and Protector tendencies, but for now, we wanted to introduce you to the idea of the Liberating Leader.

If we had to sum it up in two sentences:

Ultimately, the Liberating Leader is someone who cultivates an intentional process of self-awareness and personal growth, while applying their knowledge to fight for the highest possible good in the lives of all those they lead. This means effectively calibrating high support and high challenge for everyone in their circles of influence, including self, family, team, organization, and community.

The path to becoming a liberator is difficult, but it is also incredibly rewarding. We look forward to walking with you on that journey as we delve deeper into the core principles of leadership in the coming weeks and months.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how The Support-Challenge Matrix can help you become more of a Liberating Leader, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Leadership Tips & Insights for Extroverts and Introverts

This is the final post in a series about Extroverts and Introverts. If you haven’t read the previous posts, make sure you go back and do so.

Hopefully by now you are getting a clearer grasp of what it means to be an Introvert or an Extrovert and which one might be your natural tendency. Some of you reading may still be on the fence, and that’s okay. We recommend “trying on” each preference for a while and seeing which feels most natural.

But understanding yourself is one thing. Leveraging that knowledge to lead yourself in making better choices and becoming the best person, spouse, and leader you can be is quite another.

That’s why we’ve drawn up a few leadership insights for each of the preferences. They are intended as guidelines, suggestions for growth, and guardrails that Extroverts and Introverts alike will find helpful in applying to their daily life. Whether you’re an Extrovert and want to know yourself better, or you’re an Introvert who wants to understand the other half of the world that doesn’t think or recharge the same way, these insights will help you apply this knowledge to the relationships and challenges in your everyday world.

Leadership Insights: Extroverts

1. Learn to be fully present and truly listen to the opinions of Introverts before attempting to respond. 

Most Extroverts never give the Introvert a chance to share their whole sentence before they jump in and try to finish it for them. So an important learning opportunity is to work on how to listen and stay present in listening.

2. Watch how much you talk for in any conversation.

Finishing an Introvert’s sentence never goes down well! Plus, it’s easy for an Extrovert’s enthusiasm for conversation to dominate an Introverts more reserved attempts to get a word in.

3. Beware of the Boomerang Effect

A lot of Extroverts will often, consciously or subconsciously, try to bring whatever anyone else is saying back around to being about them. Try to detect it in your conversations. Next time you’re talking, listen to yourself and see if you find yourself falling into consistent patterns of saying “that reminds me about me.” This isn’t by nature a bad thing, it’s often an Extroverts way of trying to engage with what’s being said. But too much of this can come off as arrogant while also serving to silence the Introverts.

4. Silence is Okay, the Introverts have heard you!

A big challenge for you as an Extrovert will be learning to believe and trust that silence is okay. We promise, the Introverts have definitely heard you. Don’t assume because there’s silence that somebody is ignoring you or hasn’t heard you. Many Extroverts will repeat the question more slowly assuming the Introvert hasn’t understood since they haven’t managed to respond immediately to what the Extrovert said. But sometimes people need time to think and want to do so before giving their opinion.

5. Don’t stack your questions, give time for a considered reply.

Don’t stack your questions, Extroverts! It’s a guarantee that every Introvert has been bombarded with “Well, what about this? What about that?” You have to give your Introverts a chance to answer the question you asked before moving on to a follow-up question.

6. Learn to appreciate Introverts, you don’t see what they’re best at.

Because Introverts by nature are not as cavalier with their ideas, skills, and knowledge, Extroverts often overlook what they are best at. The truth is we often overestimate the capability of Extroverts because they readily show you what they love most and what they’re best at. But we almost always underestimate the capacity of Introverts because they tend to keep what they’re best at for the internal world.

7. Create opportunities that allow your Introverts to use their right hand.

Because they keep what they’re best at for their internal world, and rarely feel compelled to volunteer their opinions and skills before ready, then do your best to create opportunities that allow them to use their dominant preference. This might include giving them time to go away and think about their response to a question or task instead of demanding one on the spot.

Extrovert Leadership Challenge

If you are an Extrovert, we encourage you to choose two of the leadership insights listed above as your most pressing learning opportunities. Write them down. Think about them. And make a plan for how you can begin to apply them to the reality of your life and leadership challenges.

If you are an Introvert by preference, hopefully you’re getting an insight into the complex world of those who struggle with tendencies opposite your own.

Leadership Insights: Introverts

  1. Over communicate with your team! It may be real and loud inside your head but that doesn’t mean others have truly heard it.
  2. Learn to share your ideas out loud even if they are not perfect.
  3. Learn to project your enthusiasm and energy into the external world. Body language and tone of voice communicate more than words.
  4. To really hear what an Extrovert thinks you will have to let them speak for longer than you would wish!
  5. Don’t judge an Extrovert for thinking out loud; help them learn discretion and discipline.
  6. Take time each day to recharge your battery, it will actually increase your productivity.
  7. Giving yourself constantly to others will eventually diminish your capacity to help them.

Introverts need time to recharge. If you just keep giving to people, you eventually run out of energy for them.

Introvert Leadership Challenge

If you are an Introvert, I encourage you to choose two of the leadership insights listed above as your most pressing learning opportunities. Write them down. Think about them. And make a plan for how you can begin to apply them to the reality of your life and leadership challenges.

If you are an Extrovert by preference, hopefully you’re getting an insight into the complex world of those who struggle with tendencies opposite your own.

Wrapping up Introvert vs. Extrovert

And that’s a wrap for Part I of our Leadership & the Power of Self-Awareness series. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the inner workings of Introverts and Extroverts and are better equipped to understand both yourself and others on a deeper level.

We would love for you to continue your leadership journey with us as we dive into our next segment on how different types understand and process information. Part II of this series will cover Sensing vs. Intuition – delving into the strengths, weaknesses, and key markers of each tendency as well as how to figure out which one might be your natural preference. And as always, we’ll give you some key leadership takeaways to help you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and leadership challenges.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

2018 GiANT Guide to the New Year

“Before you lead others – you must first lead yourself.”

We all have the potential to raise our leadership capacity. Being a leader doesn’t just happen at work, but it happens in every circle of influence: ourselves, our families, our teams, our organizations, and our communities. At GiANT, we work tirelessly to help people become leaders others want to follow. We also believe the best leaders are those who know how to effectively provide support and challenge to their people while fighting for their highest possible good. We are on a mission to raise up liberating leaders all around the world.

Here’s our gift to you as you begin this new year.

Click Here to Download the Guide »


Source: GiANT

How Culture, Work, and Stress Affect Introverts and Extroverts

Societies always have expectations about how people should feel, think, and act. This is a fact across all nations and societies throughout all of history.

So, what are the cultural “oughts and shoulds” around Extroverts and Introverts in American culture? Or maybe a better place to start would be, which preference do you think American culture says we should be? An Introvert or an Extrovert?

The Influence of Culture

Answering this question is helpful in formulating a general rule of thumb for those stuck on the fence deciding whether they’re an Introvert or Extrovert. The truth is that American culture is an Extrovert-dominated culture. It’s a take-the-bull-by-the-horns, be the Gatsby-esque charmer type of culture that values one’s ability to charm, engage, inspire, and lead others. Therefore, America fosters a highly Extroverted set of societal expectations. As a result, many (though not all) of those sitting on the fence unsure whether they are an Introvert or Extrovert, are probably natural Introverts who have adapted to the culture and grown in their ability to flex their Extrovert muscles.

The opposite is true in more reserved cultures, such as Norway. An Extrovert growing up in Norway likely has some well-developed Introvert tendencies that may mask his or her natural Extroverted preferences.

The Influence of Work

Of course, the inherent nature of business and work often requires a constant level of Extroverted energy. We have to deal with people, meetings, phone calls, and office politics. Leading others does not happen in a vacuum. And neither does the world in which we do our work. So the nature of doing our jobs day-in-and-day-out will inevitably require strengthening of our Extrovert muscles.

The Influence of Stress

Clearly, culture and work exert a strong influence on the expression of preference, even if it doesn’t reveal one’s natural preference. However, another reason you might be undecided in your own self-analysis is the impact of stress. Stress often causes people to act out of their natural tendencies. That’s why an Extrovert working in a highly stressful job for a long time might escape to their inner world as a way of avoiding the place in which they feel the greatest pressure. Likewise, Introverts under extreme stress will often forsake the chaos of their inner world, choosing to let loose and break through their reservations rather than confront the eroding internal discipline and liveliness that once seemed so comforting and safe.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

5 Questions Extroverts and Introverts Answer Differently

In the previous posts, we’ve looked at the primary differences between Extroverts and Introverts. In this post, we’re going to begin to shine the light on a few different scenarios that Extroverts and Introverts tend to answer differently. Remember, these are just scenarios and don’t guarantee a specific preference, but they can be helpful to at least consider.

Here are 5 Questions Extroverts and Introverts Answer Differently

#1 The Party

If money was no object, what would your perfect party look like?

Let’s start with a question. If money was no object, what would your perfect party look like? 

How many invitations would be sent? We promise to pay for the whole thing – all expenses covered, wherever, whenever, and however you want to throw your party, it’s a blank check. You can go anywhere in the world, do anything you want, with all the people want to invite. You can have the party you’ve always dreamed of. The one caveat is that the party has to be for you – it’s not about what will make other people happy. The only thing you need to worry about is what would you most love to do. So you can invite 3 people or 3,000 people, assume everyone will come, and we will pay for it all. Now take a minute to think about that party. 

Envision it.

What would it look like? What would you do? How many people would you invite?

When we run this exercise in person, we usually go through a few steps. When we ask how many people would send less than 10 invitations, there will inevitably be hands raised. But just as predictably, all the Extroverts look around the room in shock and disbelief, “You’re joking!”

So think to yourself, would you like to have 10 or fewer people? 50 people? 100? 1,000? Here’s the thing, every Introvert, by preference, when they see that question, often thinks, “Gosh, if someone else if paying, I ought to have a big group,” but when we say, “No, it’s got to be the best party you’ve ever had,” we quickly find that most Introverts would rather deal with up to about 12 people. The reason being is the party they generally love most is the chance to do depth with all the key people in their life. So the fact that during an evening, they can have a conversation with each person they love and have a chance to connect with them, that’s usually the preference.

Extroverts, on the other hand, love giving breadth to life, and a lot of them would rather have a party full of all the people they know and love in the world where they can go around and just take sheer joy in connecting all the people they love to each other. They love to jump around pollinating the flowers of friendship, “Hi, how are you? Great to see you. I love you. It’s so exciting you’re here” and so on. Occasionally they might stop long enough to have a deep conversation, but in many ways, it’s just way too exciting, seeing all the people they know and love in one place, to just stand and talk to three people all night. Some of you reading this might be laughing, but there’s a good probability you’re either thinking of yourself or someone else you know who fits this description to the letter.

#2 The Recharge

Here’s another scenario to think about. 

At the end of a long day, how do you most effectively recharge? 

If you think about it, most work environments are Extroverted to some degree. A day at the office, in the restaurant, meetings, field work, customer service, etc. usually requires interacting with a number of people.

So most everyone has to do some level of Extroverted activity every day. That means the real question is how do you best recharge at the end of a long day of work? What happens when you get worn out? Where do you go?

A lot of Introverts use the excuse of exercise, reading, or a long bath as legitimate reason to get time away. Or maybe they’ll choose to stay longer in the office than they actually need because they like the gap between when work is finished before they actually have to go home and deal with the family and the kids, which is usually yet more Extrovert chaos.

On the other hand, many Introverts love the invention of headphones so that when they go to exercise for recharge they can put those headphones in and know most people won’t try to speak to them. They can run, cycle, walk, etc. and it’s a legitimate retreat. Or maybe you Introverts out there like to lock the door in the bathroom and lie in a bath with candles for an hour and a half, because again, cleansing oneself is also a legitimate reason to squirrel yourself away from the rest of the world.

Extroverts get tired too. They want to be able to rest, but then they go out again because they get re-energized by being with people. For example, many Introverts may think, “How long do I have to stay out before I can retreat to bed or a good book without everyone thinking I’m a party pooper?” They will try to work out when in the moment they can make their exit. A tired Extrovert might also think, “I’m really, really tired. I need to get to bed, get a good night’s sleep. I’m exhausted it’s 9:00 pm. I really ought to go.” But then they think about it again or see everyone else having a good time and start to waiver, “Well, maybe one more drink…” By two in the morning, they’re now wired, they’re having an amazing time and they’ll be saying, “Oh, I was tired five hours ago, but all of a sudden now I’m energized and up and running.” 

#3 The Retreat/Vacation

By now you might start to pick up on some of the clues, but let’s push forward anyway.

Let’s say we sent you on retreat to a beautiful hotel in the Alps, but there’s no TV, no WiFi, no phones, or people. How long would you really enjoy it for? How long would you want to stay until you signaled for someone to come get you? 

This is not an endurance test, by the way. This is not a case of proving how long you can survive cut off from everyone. The question is for how long would you really and truly enjoy staying there by yourself. Beautiful surroundings, you can walk, you can sing, you can read books, but there are no people, there is no Internet, and there are no phones. The food will arrive as if by magic and you can be there in this environment on our bill for as long as you’d like to be, as long as it’s actually life-giving and energizing for you. So think, for how many days would you really enjoy that? 

You’d be surprised at the variety of answers we have gotten on this one over the years. Some say they’d tap out after a few hours. A good chunk of people say they’ll last 2 or 3 days, with the more Introverted ones lasting a week or two. But then you have some who ask if they’d ever have to come down. They’d stay up there the rest of their lives, especially if we threw in a few of their deepest relationships. They’re the extreme Introverts of the group!

What happens with most Extroverts though, the moment you take away that power source – people, technology, tv, etc – they get bored and depleted rather quickly. They’ll think, “Great. I’ll do some exercise, run, sing, maybe God if you’re there, I’ll talk to you – anybody, ideally.” Then when they’ve done their activities they’ll try to catch up on their sleep because once the plug has been pulled there is nothing keeping the Extrovert going because there’s no external recharge. The fact is most of us don’t realize how much stimulation we have in our everyday lives. 

If we asked when the last time was that you went without your phone for more than four hours, you would probably say you do it all the time. But most of us check it without even thinking – Facebook, text messages, internet, news, etc. We live in this wired world which, in many ways, often creates a lack of energy. 

So if you haven’t been able to figure out whether you’re an Extrovert or Introvert yet, spending some time thinking through this scenario. If you last a day or a weekend, you’re probably an Extrovert. If you last more than that, a week or longer, you’re probably an Introvert

#4 The Wedding

What about weddings? Other than seeing your friend get married, how excited are you to attend if you know you have no one else to go with? No one you know will be there and you’re going to be sat at a random table. How exciting is the prospect of that wedding for you? 

Most Extroverts are usually thinking, “Who am I going to bless with my presence today? Who am I going to meet today? Who am I going to get a chance to share with?” 

Many Introverts, however, when faced with this scenario wonder if root canal treatment is on table as an alternative option.The prospect of knowing no one and likely being forced into small talk and get-to-know-you scenarios with no hope of a wing-man jumping into the fray with them can be less than ideal. Introverts in this situation will often, whether consciously or subconsciously, find themselves locking-in on one or two people in extended, deep conversation, choosing to get to know one person and become familiar with them, rather than roaming from one small talk situation to another.  

#5 Brainstorming Ideas

If you’re still not sure of your preference, let’s dive into your job. 

Imagine your boss at work comes to you wanting your very best insights on a complex problem. When will you prefer to have that meeting? Do you want time to prepare an opinion, or would you rather have brainstorming time with the boss to hash out ideas? 

Most Extroverts really like brainstorming out-loud so they suggest going to the break room to hear about the idea or gathering around the conference table with a whiteboard and working things out right then and there.

On the flip side, when you ask most Introverts “What do you think?” the Introverts will usually feel they need some time to go away, research, consider, and evaluate options to determine their opinion before they come back and deliver it to the boss. 

So if you are leading an Introvert, they will often find ways to garner more time to form their considered viewpoint rather than work it out in real-time with you at the beginning. If you think you’re an Introvert and you know that your boss wants your best advice, how would you feel if he or she said the following: “You know, I really want your very best. This is the problem I’m wrestling with. But you don’t have to respond right now. Instead, we’re going to have coffee tomorrow at 11:00 am. I want you to bring the best you’ve got. And maybe send me a few bullet points if that would help you in advance.” 

The key here is understanding the world in which we operate best and using that knowledge to get the best out of ourselves and others. If it’s white-boarding and brainstorming out loud, make the time. If it’s going away to research, think, and draw up multiple scenarios, then make the time. And never forget that those you lead are thinking the same thing. So take the time to get to know them and give them what they need to give you their best.

Descriptions Commonly Associated with Introverts and Extroverts

Now that we’ve run through a few scenarios, let’s take a minute to look at some word pairs. The following table provides a list of words commonly associated with Extrovert and Introvert tendencies. Remember, we all exhibit some level of extraversion and introversion, regardless of our natural, basic preference. Just try to think honestly about which words in each pair best describes your most prevalent natural tendencies as opposed to the learned behaviors and social conditioning that says we should be one way or another.

It’s not about which words sound the best, or being all the words on one side or another. You will probably find yourself to be a mix of both lists. This is simply another tool to help you find clues about what the Introvert and Extrovert preferences mean and how they might relate to you. The reality is that 50% of the world is Extrovert and 50% Introvert. So no matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, we all need to learn how to call on the other side of our preferences to connect with and understand the half of the people we encounter in life.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

4 Questions to Better Understand & Lead Your People

When it comes to those you work with or lead it is important to know them well if you want to nurture strong team and individual growth. So how do you help your people grow?

First and foremost it’s important to understand how people are living. Every one of us has a personal life that affects our work life, whether good or bad. Therefore, if we can foster knowledge and empathy about what’s happening beyond the work environment, we have the opportunity to encourage personal growth, which leads to professional growth.

Here are 4 simple questions to ask yourself about your colleagues and employees in order to know them on a deeper level and figure out how to fight for their highest possible good:

1.) How well does your co-worker or teammate live? 

This question refers not to an economic standard of living, but rather how fully they live. Are they healthy and thriving? Or are they saddled with fear and frustration? Essentially, do they seem to be full of life and vitality, or are other factors hindering their potential and weighing them down?

2.) What is their life like? 

Do you really know what they are dealing with? Maybe there’s a health crisis in the family, or some sort of family drama that never seems to end, continually wearing on his or her psyche. One of our associates recounts asking a client about his life only to find out that he was stretched razor thin – emotionally, financially, physically, mentally – by caring for both a child with special needs as well as his ailing parents. The associate gained a much greater appreciation for the ups and downs of this person’s daily life and sought ways to help him recharge and manage the balancing act of responsibilities.

3.) What does your teammate value? 

Can you make a list of the things some of your co-workers value? Do you know their likes and dislikes, the things that give them a sense of purpose and intrinsic motivation? Try learning these things about your colleagues and you will find yourself more prone to communicating with greater intentionality.

4.) Based on the above, how do you think your teammate’s life affects their work? 

Are they working at 60%, 80%, or 100%? If low, what is causing it? Now, how can you help them so that they become more effective and energized at work?

The process of understanding how your teammates are living is vital to the process of leading. To know your team is the first stage of leading your team. When people know that you are for them then your influence multiplies and your leadership capacity grows.

Living well is a process. 

You can help others live well by being “for” those around you.


Source: GiANT

Extroverts, Introverts, and the Differences in Communication

In the previous post, we identified the primary differences between Extroverts and Introverts. If you haven’t read it, make sure you go check it out.

Today, we’ll take a deep look at the differences in communication between Extroverts and Introverts, and how you can begin to communicate more clearly.

Hint: Take notes on all the ways you can get better at communicating with people who are wired differently than you!

Let’s start with Introverts.

As a result of their preference for internal consideration and thought, most Introverts prefer written communication. They would rather think through the best way to say or accomplish something before they volunteer it into the external world. Introverts very rarely share verbally or in writing something they do not consider to be their final and well-vetted opinion. As you can imagine, e-mail and text messaging have been a true boom for Introverts because they can edit what they want to say, read and re-read it, then edit it again before they send out their communication.

Most Extroverts, on the other hand, are quite happy to think out loud and will move the pieces of thought around until they discover a great idea.

The issue comes when we don’t understand what’s going on in our teams. That’s when differences between Extroverts and Introverts can often become frustrating and annoying to one another. In the negative environment, where Introverts and Extroverts don’t understand one another, here’s what each might be thinking about the other:

Most Extroverts look at Introverts and think, “What’s going on? I’m not getting a lot of feedback. You don’t appear to be very engaged with what I’m saying, and you don’t tend to say anything.”

Most Introverts look at Extroverts, saying, “Are you still so immature and utterly insensitive that you think out loud yet again and cause deep offense because you can’t engage your brain before you engage your mouth?”

The Introvert’s Challenge of “I Already Told You”

The Introvert’s communication challenge, however, is that they often think they’ve communicated their thoughts or opinions clearly when in fact no one else has heard it. This happens when an Introvert has been turning an idea over in their head again and again, and it’s been crafted and honed, feeling so real in their world that they assume everyone else has picked up on it too.

Here’s an example from one of the GiANT Worldwide founders, Steve Cockram (He is an ENTP):

My wife, an ISFJ – God bless her, we’re opposites in everything – will insist she has told me something. She will say, “I told you, I told you that.” And obviously, I will respond, “No, you didn’t,” and then we have this negotiation. So the first time, she always comes back with, “No, I did tell you that.” And then I say, “Well, when did you tell me that?” This usually prompts, “Well, I think I told you that.” I respond, “Well, you think you might have. Can you think when you actually did?” 

Her response to that is, “Well, you probably weren’t listening,” and that’s usually where she’s got me. And I just say, “What that usually means is you didn’t say it, but I can’t now win, which is deeply frustrating for me, but I’ve learned that’s the place to call time out because it doesn’t go any better from there on in.” 

This tendency for Introverts to think they’ve communicated far more than they actually have means it’s often a good idea to remind Introverts to over communicate almost to the point they think they’ve bored or annoyed people with their thoughts. When the Introvert feels like they can’t say it anymore, that’s usually the point at which they’ll have said it loudly and clearly enough for others to really hear what they are saying.

Processing and Conversation

When most Extroverts get a new challenge they say, “Hey, let’s all get together and brainstorm, and then I’ll go away and think about it,” engaging first in the Extrovert world then in the Introvert world. Introverts tend to do the opposite. They usually need a chance to say, “That’s the problem. Let me go away and think about it, and I’ll come back when I’ve got something that is actually reasonably well-crafted. Then we can discuss.”

Exploring the external orientation of Extroverts further, you will find a number of commonalities among them. Because Extroverts tend to share their thoughts quite freely, it’s usually fairly easy to get them to talk. If you ask the right questions and appear interested in listening, they will usually talk to you for as long as they want. Furthermore, they will often disclose all kinds of personal details to complete strangers who appear to be interested in what they’re doing because to the Extrovert life is a buffet of people, ideas, conversations, and connections.

Introverts, on the other hand, tend to crave not just conversation, but depth, and therefore dislike superficiality and often struggle to make small talk. Most Introverts would much rather deal with someone they know well and go deep from the get-go rather than having to go somewhere to meet a lot of people and work their way through small talk to get to the depth conversations. Extroverts can certainly enjoy deep conversations too, but the excitement of connecting with new people and sharing what they’re interested in is energizing to them rather than draining. By contrast, the Introvert might struggle to find the process of working through the get-to-know-you phase with new people worthwhile, given that their existing, close relationships would provide an immediate entry into meaningful conversation.

Introverts Who Look Like Extroverts

The most difficult hang-up people have in determining Extrovert vs. Introvert tendencies is that many Introverts look like Extroverts. This is particularly true with Extrovert-dominated cultures, such as America, where every Introvert has to fake it in order to make their way in the world.

But that’s not to say Introverts cannot truly become the life of a party without faking it. What you’ll find is if you put Introverts in a world where they know people, and they feel known by them, then they can become some of the most gregarious raconteurs around, and everyone looks at them thinking they must be an Extrovert.

The difference is that the Introvert feels, “It’s safe to be me, because we’re dealing with depth and people I know.” That fits perfectly in line with the Introvert’s greatest relational drive, which is to know a smaller number of people incredibly well. Most Introverts, if you ask them, “How many close friends do you have?,” will reply with somewhere between two and six, and a lot of them go back 20 years or more of friendship.

Extroverts, however, prefer giving breadth to life. They tend to know an awful lot of people, they like playing with lots of things, but they’ll tend, at times, to be slightly shallower in their relationships because they just like knowing lots of people and connecting in so many different ways.

Your Action Plan

  1. Given everything we’ve covered in this post, ask yourself, “Do I tend to recharge as an Extroverted, solar powered person? Or do I need time to myself and space for reflection to truly refill the fuel tanks and get back at it?”
  2. What are some specific ways you can begin to acknowledge and value the communication differences of those who are wired opposite to you?

Next week we’ll look at some clarifying questions to help you be more confident in whether you are more extroverted and introverted, and how to begin using this in your daily life.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

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