It’s a standing joke at work. A colleague was going to start writing a diary of her dating exploits this year. It hasn’t happened but frequently at the end of a day someone will pipe up with ‘Dear Diary… what a day….’. It’s all a bit Victorian, pure and innocent.
In my diary, if I wrote one, would be the irritations that occur during my day. It’s interesting to consider what really ignites fury in one person can barely register on another’s scale. Personalities, the full spectrum of difference between the types of personality has long been a fascination for me.
As a company we have personality profiled all of our employees. Sound odd? It’s actually not. We found that in our business we were asking very different personalities to perform duties which were so far out of their comfort zones that they ceased to be effective (or just fizzled out). Taking a look at who we had working in our business we discovered that it was like flogging the proverbial dead horse asking some personality types to do business development, and conversely a very high risk exercise asking someone who isn’t detail-driven or tolerant to spend a while finding out background information or getting to know the personalities of our clients. We use DISC profiling but of course there are many others and as with most things, consistency is key.
Thinking about the different personalities of people you work with isn’t a massive stretch but starting to think about the people you love more in terms of what type of personality they have is different. It’s so easy to think of them just in their direct role and how you know them. In the last couple of years I have started to think more about introverts. This is going to sound really bad but until 2015 I laboured under the misapprehension that an introvert was someone who was just really quiet and probably longed to be an extrovert. I know, ignorant. I was recommended a book by Susan Cain – Quiet, and it really opened my eyes (although I confess I still haven’t finished it). I learned about two introverts who are quite close to me and started to recognise ways that I was behaving that was very difficult for an introvert to deal with and I started to manage the way I communicated and what I expected depending on who I was interacting with.
However hard you try, some personality types are just never going to fit with your own, or maybe that’s just me? Some personality types I generally find just jar against me and I struggle when the emotion is absent that would be attached to someone say, that I was related to who was a hard-to-get-on-with personality! Sometimes, it’s hard to be objective about those close to you. I always want to get under the skin of people I meet. I instantly want to understand people and I probably waste a fair amount of time doing this where perhaps others would have a ‘zero f***s given’ attitude. Some people just do not want to be known though, they have a mask in place whether that be a work-mask or just one that generally says ‘back away lady’. Ok, I’ve come to accept the I can’t be everyone’s friend and that is part of MY personality that I need to curb, or at least care less about.
I’m fascinated to watch the personalities of my children develop, knowing that they will evolve in a continuum for a lifetime. I feel resolute that the grounding they have had and the influences so far will stand them in good stead for future externalities. I have been proud recently of the way my daughter has dealt with a difficult situation with her father. She is able to be far less passionate than me when trying to get her point across, way more rational, very succinct and supremely just. Never one to be arrogant enough to think I cannot learn from others, I think I will take a little lesson from her and her calm, measured approach in my next explosive situation!
So back to today, …… Dear Diary.…. it really has been a fabulous day!