Who are you at work? While this may seem like a straightforward question, we often behave differently at work depending on the context. I first discovered who I was at work when I took the Meyers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). The MBTI is a widely-used personality assessment tool that helps to explain why people are interested in different things (like different kinds of work) and at times find it hard to understand each other. I have completed the assessment several times, and I’ve noticed that my introvert/extravert preferences tend to shift back and forth, depending upon my work environment. While at work, I currently present as an introvert.
I am not an introvert by nature, however, I present as an introvert at work. I like to get to know people slowly. I also think very carefully before I offer my opinion. Over time, however, I have discovered that colleagues sometimes interpret my private nature as withdrawn or remote. Upon recognizing this, I decided to flex my style to counter this perception. I now spend the first 20-30 minutes of each day connecting with at least one of my colleagues, always in person.
There are a number of styles, each with its own set of values. As you think about your own style and who you are at work, it may be helpful to consider the following questions moving forward:
- How does my behavior at work reflect my values?
- What is my preferred style of relating to others?
- What are some ways I can adapt (or flex) my style without changing who I am?