Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Must love chameleons

During the first day of orientation at the Firm (yes, that's what we call it and yes, I guzzle the Kool-aid daily), we were given a glossary of all the acronyms that we should get familiar with - and clearly, the need for an organized list of definitions amused the shit out of me. So I read it.

MBTI (Myers-Briggs): a personality categorization used frequently at the Firm based on four distinct drivers of one's ability to work and interact within teams; often used as an excuse for not being able to deal well with others - please, do not do this.

It actually said "please, do not do this" to which I thought, "I do that all the time."

J: I told my manager to stop using the F-word with me.
Me: I hate it when they do that.
J: Seriously. How many times is he going to ask me how I feel?

And since I'm receptive to receiving (and applying) feedback, here's an explanation of MBTI:

The four metrics are as follows, defined Connie-style (i.e., terse and accurate)
1A. Extrovert (E): absorbs energy from other people
1B. Introvert (I): hates other people
2A. iNtuitive (N): big picture thinking
2B. Sensing (S): detail and task oriented
3A. Thinking (T): communicates directly, results-oriented
3B. Feeling (F): communicates through happy and sad faces
4A. Judging (J): pragmatic and organized
4B. Perceptive (P): spontaneous and flexible

For today's purposes, I want to focus on the T/F breakdown... mostly because I think people adapt to their environments - like an overly complicated chameleon who has feelings but still wants her fucking data.

Honestly, it simply comes down to work versus personal life. And people, this is a new thing. I used to treat my friends and family in an almost grossly transactional way. I guess it took Oz a bit longer than anticipated to give this tin girl a heart. But at least the one I got has an on/off switch.

Example of T-ness 
A: Do you want to go to this meeting?
Me: No.
A: It might be good from an optics perspective.
Me: It has nothing to do with my workstream and frankly, is a waste of my time.

Example of F-ness
S: Thank you for your purchase of dried coconut and mango snacks. We're a small business run by just me and my husband, and we sincerely appreciate your business!
Me: I truly enjoy supporting small businesses, so I am happy to hear that - and your product mix is particularly diverse.
S: A year ago, we lost our jobs with the failing economy and had to make ends meet by selling all different types of products. We're hoping to focus more on snacks and groceries now that we have a storefront going.
Me: I'm going to buy all of my snacks from you going forward. All... of... them...

Example of how sometimes it merges...

Me: Can you please sanity check it to make sure the numbers seem right? I did myself, obviously, but your keen sense on these baseline metrics make me warm and fuzzy.
S: Warm and fuzzy? Nice.
Me: Better than "less of a bitch"...

... which in all sincerity, was probably more accurate.

Which brings me to my final point in that sometimes, we actually believe we're one over the other... and then try to convey that when we meet people.

Me: I'm an ENTJ. I like people but only hang out with them if they make plans with me and don't get mad about stupid shit.
C: Well, what did you want to do tonight?
Me: Whatever's fine.

A few years ago, I read a book called On Bullshit and I was reminded of it recently. The premise is that the difference between a lie and bullshit is that you know when you're lying. But bullshit is even more potent because people actually believe it could (or is) true.

Me: I'm like a lamb. Soft, shy, meek, and all that.
R: That is a lie. You're a lot of things, but you're definitely not a lamb.

E: Buy Ethos water. They give money back to poor people.
Me: I don't believe that bullshit for one second.

And sadly, the longer people stay at the Firm, which side of the coin will win becomes increasingly questionable...

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