Chapter 4: How do you prefer to behave

Below is the outline of Chapter 4, please feel free to critique it for me. I do however have a fragile ego, so personal messages for critiques are much appreciated. No doubt the grammar is a little rough and I will be going over that again. Feel to tell me what you think of the content.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Are you most comfortable as an extrovert or as an introvert, or does it depend on what you are doing and who you are with?

  • Are you chatty or more the quiet type?
  • Do you prefer to watch from the sidelines or are you more comfortable in the thick of it getting stuck in?
  • Do you look within yourself for inspiration or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends or colleagues to find your creativity?
  • Do you relish those intimate one to one moments with friends or do you love those occasions with all your friends and family present?
  • Do you see like to blend in to the background or do you love to stand out in the crowd?
  • Do you think to speak or do you speak to think?
  • Do you like to reflect before you act or are you more prone to rushing in to action?

Now if you are anything like me you will relate to some of the introvert traits and some of the extrovert traits. For some of the statements you might not have an opinion either way. We are after all complex and interesting human beings, none of us can be put in a box. Saying that you may notice that you answered more one way than the other.

In all parts of my life I have a tendency towards introversion. I prefer to email someone rather than speak to them on the phone, especially when I do not know them very well. If I am in a shop and I cannot find what I have gone in for I would rather walk out of the shop empty handed rather than ask a shop assistant. When I have difficult problem I need to solve, I will prefer to do this alone and work through my problem carefully, I will then share my plan once I am happy with it. On the flip side I love teaching groups of people and I love talking in large groups, I often relish being the centre of attention on some occasions and hate the thought of it on others. When I worked on the wards I had no problem talking to complete strangers and striking up a rapport with them. When I am teaching and talking to large groups of people I am Matt Smith the Clinical Nurse Educator or Matt Smith the Coaching Lead. When I am blending into the background I am being Matt Smith, just plain old Matt Smith, the father, husband, son, blogger and coach. Saying that my extroverted traits do you show up in my latter persona as well as my professional persona, and the same is true for my introversion. Jung described humans as have different personas for different occasions. So crudely speaking I have my Professional persona as a Nurse Educator and Coaching Lead and a persona as a Father, a persona as a Husband, Son, Coach, Blogger and Friend. Most of these persona’s no doubt are very similar as your’s will be, otherwise it would could get very confusing trying to work out what version of a person we are speaking to, let alone how exhausting it would be to keep up all these multiple characters all of the time.

How do you make decisions?

As well describing your attitude (introversion and extroversion) Carl Jung, suggests there are 2 aspects of our decision making. He proposed that we either make decisions based on our thinking or our feelings. As with our attitude they are not mutually exclusive, therefore we can and do use both traits, but not at the same time. We do however prefer to make decisions either one way or another. Again to help you understand you preferred behaviour I have put together a series of questions below:

  • Do you consider yourself to be formal in your interactions with people or are you much more informal when greeting people?
  • Do you remember facts and figures more easily than names and faces or do facts and figures leave you cold?
  • Do you like to analyse a problem before you plan to correct it, or do you get stuck in and use a kind of trial and error approach?
  • When faced with an issue do you look at it with a subjective or objective eye?
  • Once you have decided on a direction of travel do you stick to that route or do you see where road takes you?
  • Do you relish competition and strive to come out top, or are you more interesting in taking part and helping others to succeed?
  • Is it important to you to have a tidy desk, is it important that everything has it’s place and is in it, or do you not really care whether you desk is tidy or not, or where things are kept?
  • Do you choose your work or task above spending time with friends or family, or do you insist on finishing work on time to ensure you spend quality time with your friends and family?

Again if you are anything like me you will be able to relate to some traits for both thinking and feeling decision making. I must admit my preferred route to making decisions is based on what I feel rather than thinking things through. However when I need to make important decisions I will think things through and weigh up the odds. Sometmes that tasks I am doing at work keep me there when I should be going home. When I am writing or reviewing guidelines I will spend time collecting data and make sure I have all the information I need before I start writing, sometimes to the point where it takes me such a long time to get things done. However in every other aspect of my life I make decisions based on how they make me feel and how they may make others feel. I will often base my decision making on my values, if they are congruent with my values, for me it is the right decision. To be honest even when I am working late or when I am researching guidelines I have made a decision that is in line with my core values which are courage and usefulness. So even decisions that appear to be based on thought, actually are based on my feelings. You may think that you base decisions on either analysis of data or on what you feel, but they may have their basis in the opposite. To examine where your decision making is routed it is worth exploring your values. What you value will unearth your preference.

In  her book Dare to Lead, Brene Brown offers an exercise to help you explore what your core values are, in fact that is why I discovered my 2 core values (courage and usefulness). It is an exercise worth even if you think you know what you core values are, as you might be surprised that another value lies behind the values you hold as important. Brene offers a long list of values and invites you to find 2 core values, this is quite u get a daunting task, therefore she suggests you come up with 10 initially and then try to group them together, in themes and ask yourself what value do they collectively represent until you get down to one or 2 core values. To help you try this out I have provided a list below, I do however implore you to read Dare to Lead if you are a leader it will change the way you view your leadership, and if you are not it will change the way you interact with your leader. Any way below is a list of values to help get you started with discovering what your core values are. Once you have 10 values that relate to you (please try not to choose values that you would like to have or what you think are admirable, choose those that really mean something to you). Then can you group any of them together, do they represent an overarching value. Take your time, really think about what you value, if you cannot find your value add it. Have some fun with it, be creative and thoughtful and you will be able to come up with 2 core values. You can find a list of all the values that you can print out via Brene Brown’s website;  https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/workbook-art-pics-glossary/

Accountability
Achievement
Adaptability
Adventure
Altruism
Ambition
Authenticity
Balance
Beauty
Being the best
Belonging
Career
Caring
Collaboration
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competence
Confidence
Connection
Contentment
Contribution
Cooperation
Courage
Creativity
Curiosity
Dignity
Diversity
Environment
Efficiency
Equality
Ethics
Excellence
Fairness
Faith
Family
Financial stability
Forgiveness
Freedom
Friendship
Fun
Future generations
Generosity
Giving back
Grace
Gratitude
Growth
Harmony
Health
Home
Honesty
Hope
Humility
Humour
Inclusion
Independence

Interdependence
Initiative
Integrity
Intuition
Job security
Joy
Justice
Kindness
Knowledge
Leadership
Learning
Legacy
Leisure
Love
Loyalty
Making a difference
Nature
Openness
Optimism
Order
Parenting
Patience
Patriotism
Peace
Perseverance
Personal fulfillment
Power
Pride
Recognition
Reliability
Resourcefulness
Respect
Responsibility
Risk -taking
Safety
Security
Self-discipline
Self-expression
Self-respect
Serenity
Service
Simplicity
Spirituality
Sportsmanship
Stewardship
Success
Teamwork
Thrift
Time
Tradition
Travel
Trust
Truth
Understanding
Uniqueness
Usefulness
Vision
Vulnerability
Wealth
Well-being
Wisdom

Brene then invites you to operationalise your core values and the values of the organisation you work in. Read Dare to Lead and visit her website https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/ to discover more.

For me this is a useful exercise to discover why you prefer to behave and make decisions. It also helps to explain why we are so complicated and not easy to put in a box.

How do you perceive the world around you?

Below is a picture, I would like to invite you to write down what is there for you in this picture.

The words you have written may well help you understand whether you prefer to percieve the world using sensation or intuition. If you use sensation you may well have written;

  • 2 girls
  • Grass
  • Dresses
  • Bridge
  • Leaves
  • Pink shoes
  • Turqouise shoes

If you use intuition you may well have written;

  • Friendship
  • Summer
  • Adventure
  • Kindness
  • Happiness
  • Warm

Again as with all the other preferences you may well have written a mixture of the 2, however it may have come easier to come up with words for either sensation or intuition. So we can percieve the world using both preferences but find it more comfortable using one or the other. I will normally want to go straight for intuitive descriptions of the world around me and have to concentrate on seeing what is really there.

If you prefer to use intuition you are more likely to be future focussed and feel comfortable projecting and predicting what is coming next. You feel at ease when planning for the future. You are happy using your imagination and when you are with others that like to use intuition you can get carried away. Using intuition is very useful when planning for the future and creating a compelling vision.

If you prefer to use sensation you are more grounded in the here and now and feel much more comfortable describing the current state. You are comfortable highlighting what is right and wrong with the current environment. Sensation is vital to ensure that any future plans are routed in the reality of what is really happening.

It is important to remember again that you can use both intuition and sensation and that you don’t hide behind your preference when things do not work out as planned. I keep repeating this, but it is so important, we are complex and are full of contradictions. We can be introverted and extroverted, a thinker and a feeling, a senser and intuitive. We may prefer to behave differently in different situations. It is vital to recognise this and embrace our own complexity and that of others.

Author: Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

2 thoughts on “Chapter 4: How do you prefer to behave”

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