Tuesday, 24 January 2012

INTROVERT EXTROVERT - DOES IT MATTER?

I recently read an article about the New Groupthink.

Have a read and see what you think.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all

I am in two minds about this. You see I am an introvert by nature, always have been.
Why am I then blogging to the universe and facebooking? Well I counterbalance it by not twittering or any other new world connections!

I do the things I do to connect, promote or inspire. I don't seek money to benefit, do google ads or adsense. I have no need to gain money, just bring balance to my own world and others.

Back to being an introvert.

In reading the article we can determine that introverts are most creative in a private space. I agree. I hate being watched or on show, I hate being the center of attention. Yet I lecture, chair a network of advanced nurses on the fore of system reform and I post publicly on internet sites. I put myself in front of an audience. Part of that is for self challenge. To see if I can do it and part of it is to share with others.

I cringe before, during and after every "performance". Judging myself before others or how I think others may do.

I would rather be behind the scenes doing great things and occasionally getting some acknowledgement or thanks for it. I would rather be in a cubicle, hidden from the world. However, that cubicle would need a window with sunlight!

So I function as an extrovert on the outside, whilst really I just want to run and hide. But is it that I am by nature an introvert and to share the benefit of my learnings I become the extrovert.

I work in a shared space office, I always have within my less clinical nursing roles. In my mind it makes it awkward, I feel exposed. So I can only imagine how my students or the patient's feel in an open space.

The nature of my latest work is very much collaborative and it is interdisciplinary. It requires multiple conversations a day to cross reference our clinical skill sets in solving client problems. It also creates problems.

In an open space it is very hard to get an intimate or private conversation going. Some conversations are not meant to include everybody. It then becomes difficult in a share space to perform certain functions of leadership roles. There is no private office space and this often means we are relegated to the halls. That looks clandestine and unprofessional.

We run interdisciplinary network groups. These are great for shared problem solving, networking and discussion. The problem with that is, some like sharing more than others and some don't want to participate. Introverts may not feel comfortable speaking up or out and by nature the group becomes unidirectional, shifting in the direction of the most outgoing performers and that is not necessarily the best way.

I prefer to appear like I am constantly struck dumb, than to speak up and look stupid. I am not stupid and when I have my evidence gathered I am happy to share, more than happy.

So I will stick to my true internal needs and perform how I see best.

I think Anais Nin sums it up for me in her quote:


“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Ana├»s Nin


That is how I see life and writing, lecturing, sharing and collaboration. To live life in the moment and then have the ability to reflect in retrospect, once you have put it out there in a group model everyone knows your thoughts!

What are you? An introvert, an extrovert? Does it matter?

And yes there is the intentional jibe in this post to the wondrously talented x- factor wannabe who penned a song by this name: Introvert, extrovert, Does it matter? They were the only words to the song, maybe he should have had a brainstorming session!

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