Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When the mask comes off

Our second day of Team Leadership and Effectiveness training today and we're learning all sorts of things which fascinate me. This afternoon we looked at psychological types via the Myers-Briggs model. It's amazing how accurate some of these things are.

The most fascinating part of looking at psychological types is how wrong our perceptions of others can be, or theirs of us. By nature I'm introverted, I internalise a lot of my feelings and I feel most comfortable in my own company. Noise, people and activity for me is exhausting. I need 'me' time to regenerate my energy levels with my own space and no-one bugging me.

Quite simply I'm not a people person, yet every single person in the group today was amazed that I wasn't in the extroverted group. Why? because I've learnt what is necessary to be successful in my job, I know how to adapt, I know how to get results and that's by being extroverted and confident when it's needed.

It's not that I'm being deceptive, but that I can step into my work persona when I need to, I can pull on my mask so to speak. There were others within the group who also didn't fit others perceptions. People who are perceived as one certain type, but who in actual fact only don that mask for work purposes. All of us have the ability to pull on the mask and become who we need to be.

This was such an eye-opening exercise in general when you consider our relationships with others. My husband is an extrovert type - he loves people and is happiest when surrounded by conversation and noise.

The saying goes that opposites attract and in terms of psychological types - they also balance each other. The same can be said in work situations - teams need a balance of different types to work effectively.

If you're interested in psychological types - there's a heap of information available on the web, just search for Myers-Briggs. There's also many different types of psychological tests around.

Well my mask is off and I'm enjoying my own company and the peace and quiet which I cherish after a full day at the office.

Cheers, Fi

In summary - this is me -  Introversion_iNtuition_Feeling_Judging (INFJ)

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world.

They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions.

Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone.


  1. Being able to put on different personalities for different situations is definitely a learned behavior. I am the same way; I am really most comfortable with myself and NEED quiet time. If I don't get at least 30 minutes a day to myself I can see a huge difference in my level of comfort, even within my own house. At school (work) I am outgoing, but the staff was surprised I wasn't attending the pot luck Friday night. I made an excuse, but the truth was that I had simply had enough of being around people. I wanted to go home and spend time with "my" people, instead.

  2. Hello fellow INFJer.

    Like you, most people assume I'm an extrovert -- I'm actually exactly 50/50.

    I am comfortable with myself. Comfortable in groups -- and need lots of me time to regroup. I find big social groups, being 'out there' exhausting.

    For me -- because I like to make people feel at ease, being out there is an important aspect of creating joy.

    If you want another fascinating look into personality types, visit www.truecolorscareer.com -- color types are based on Myers Briggs.

    Great stuff!

  3. Most of that is exactly what I think of you through reading what you write here.

    Most people at work think I'm extroverted too (things like dyeing my hair blue for charity probably re-inforce that belief, but actually I'm quite shy.

  4. I did the MB test when I took a career class back in college. It was pretty interesting what it came out with.


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