Monday, August 26, 2013

Finding the optimal rhythm

In his article "Who's More Productive, Introverts or Extroverts?" (at FastCompany) Drake Baer writes:
collaboration--that is, the idea-blooming, strategy-begetting kind--springs from a rhythm of individual and solo work.
This resonates. My best days are a combination of focused attention and free-form meandering thinking on the introvert side, coupled with extroverted discussions, which seems to run in two directions: information sharing and collaborative problem-solving.

And the optimal rhythm or mixture seems to vary from day to day. Today's proportions might be exactly the same as yesterday's but how I feel at the end of the day can be quite different. And my colleagues are at different places on the spectrum, and they too can vary their mode from day to day.

Fitting my own variation to those of my colleagues, and to the needs of the work at hand, is an on-going challenge.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Why fakestrovert?

Over the past few days, some conversations have made me realize that I don't necessarily project outwardly as an introvert. I can chatter on for days on topics that fascinate me, I'm not afraid of standing up in front of an audience to give a presentation, and I have a large network of professional contacts.

Am, without doubt, an introvert. I need time with my own thoughts, to reflect and solve the problems that confront me. To me, the Sony Walkman and its heirs are a blessing, as much as a socially acceptable means to isolate oneself as for the portable entertainment.

But I spend much of my working life engaged in interpersonal contact. Phone calls, one-on-one conversations, large meetings, mixing and mingling at events, and giving presentations to large groups. This is an absolutely essential part of my job--communicating in a variety of settings, to a variety of audiences.

There are different terms to describe this; one commonly cited is Mike Myers' self-description as a "situational extrovert".  But here's my portmanteau: "fakestrovert".