When it comes to Personality, a lot has been written on the topic of Introversion and Extraversion. Susan Cain’s best-selling book “Quiet”, coupled with her TED talk, has certainly changed the discourse around how we understand our personality in terms of distinct preferences and how these preferences shape how we interact with the world around us.
When we talk about Personality, we are in essence talking about characteristic patterns of thoughts and behaviours that make a person unique. The Swiss psychiatrist, Karl Jung, observed that each of us is energised more by either the external world, or the internal world – thus the terms Introversion and Extraversion. He also noticed that understanding personality requires us to look at how we take in information and make decisions – referred to as Mental Functions. What Jung called a person’s personality Type, is characterised as preferences in each of these areas.
The Introversion/Extraversion contrast is merely a starting point from which to being exploring how our personalities informs how we deal with the world around us. The real benefits of understanding personality type comes from considering the contrast between what comes naturally to us and what we are actually required to do in our work. So, for example, you may be someone who really enjoys big picture thinking and creativity whereas your work requires you to spend some time on very detailed and repetitive tasks.
Working outside of our natural preferences requires additional mental energy. Some tasks we naturally find energising while others are quite draining.
Flexing our Personality
This is where flexibility comes in. We need to be able to draw upon additional mental resources in order to minimize the stress that comes with going beyond our comfort zone and adapt to different situations.
We can all develop the skills and abilities that provide us with the psychological agility and resilience to:
- solve problems proactively
- remain calm and level-headed under pressure
- form connections with others
- seek out new and beneficial experiences
- use positive coping strategies to maintain overall well-being and minimise stress
Tapping into these skills allows us to leverage those mental functions that are more natural for us, whilst also helping us to increase our capacity to use less-comfortable mental functions with less stress.
So, don’t be satisfied with looking solely at personality. Start work on your flexibility.
Are you interested in learning more about this kind of flexibility in personality? Come to our complimentary event on 5th February! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 012788727 for more information. We’ll be exploring the Pearman Personality Integrator, an innovative personality assessment which provides insight into both natural and demonstrated personality preferences.
If you would like to become certified to use the Pearman Personality Integrator assessment, click here.