As an extrovert, who also enjoys moments of solitude, I have found that I feel more energized through my social interactions with those around me. As I have matured and found out more about myself, I have also gotten a good feel for the types of people that I need to have around me and the types of activities I need to incorporate in order to feel energized.
I recently noticed that the majority of the people close to me lean more towards the introvert side of the personality spectrum. First, let me remind you that ‘introvert’ does not mean shy. These are two completely different concepts. Let me also remind you that it is not better to be an introvert or an extrovert, as we need a balance of both in our society and there is no need to compare the personality types and their needs. My husband, an introvert, is a strong and talented communicator who loves social interactions, however does not thrive on them for energy in the same way that I do. For this reason, I identified strongly with T.D. Jakes when he spoke about his personality and that of his wife. He stated: “My wife is an introvert and I am primarily an extrovert. I’ve learned not to try and make her refuel in the crowd, and she’s learned not to try and make me lie down and refuel in solitude…Yet still we’re able to complement each other as we’ve found intersections in our uniqueness.”
In processing this concept, I started to reflect on relationships. We all have personal and professional relationships that we value, and others that we may question. If you are a reader of this blog, you know my thoughts on the importance of human connection. The relationships that we develop personally and professionally can influence us in many ways. It’s important to surround ourselves with the types of people who help us thrive. These people do not have to exactly like us, but they need to be what T.D. Jakes may refer to as part of ‘Our Tribe.’ They understand how we tick, we understand how they tick, and the relationship provides not only balance, but energy.
Discord, whether in personal or professional relationships, often occurs when you move to different beats…or rhythms. Moving to the same rhythm does not mean that you agree on everything, but that you are syncopated in the beat to which you march. It’s important to find people who share this rhythm…people who are in sync with your beat. When we manage to do this, it helps us to support each other and stimulate our own processes of discovery.
I do a fair bit of work in Team Building, and when working with upper management teams I focus on the importance of understanding your employees and what makes them tick. We spend time looking at self awareness; looking at the impact our personality has on the way we manage and figure out the best ways to work with all the personality types on our team. Our team members won’t all tick in the same way, or even the way we want them to. The key is that you understand them. In an ideal world, they will all march to your beat, but we know that we don’t all have the luxury of hiring only people who march to our beat.
Many leaders have great visions. They have visions that drive them and these visions are often a combination of their instinct and intellect. According to Jakes, “Instinct is the fuel that powers the jeep, your team members are the tires…no matter how resourceful, creative, or industrious we may be, without others on our team, we will only idle out on ideas instead of gaining traction.”
Relationships, whether personal or professional, are essential. Finding people that are in ‘our tribe’ and march to the same beat provides an avenue for a very rewarding human connection and the type of motivation that helps us to be our best. It’s important that when you find people who are in your ‘tribe’ that you take the time to foster and build these relationships. It may be a colleague on your team, or in exploring a new friendship, if you suspect that you march to the same beat, make the effort to foster that relationship, because when we find people who move to the same rhythm, the possibilities are endless.