25 January 2020

Yesterday was a pretty good and interesting day, for different reasons.

It was good because in the morning I had a meeting with “senior leadership” at my company. I went in prepared in terms of the slides (I must have reviewed them at least 5 times) but without talking points.

If you know me, you’ll know that going into a meeting, especially an important one, without talking points is a concept completely alien to me. But it’s something I’ve been working on. You’re not always going to have the time and at some point you just have to learn to trust yourself and “go”.

So I went in not really knowing what specifically I’d say, and the sky didn’t fall down, the room didn’t combust into flames. It went perfectly fine, even better than expected.

I was very happy (and a little bit surprised) to find that I was able to verbalize the slides articulately and strike the right tone given the somewhat sensitive nature of the materials I was going through with them.

So the day started off well. After that I had another good impromptu turn talking about a program we’re piloting in the People Team next week. Again, I had a slide which I knew the content of. But no talking points.

Literally, five seconds before going up, all I knew I was going to say was how to transition in from the previous slide the Chief People Officer was talking about. And this was me standing up to present in front of most of the People Team.

But it went fine. I talked. They listened. I think I made some good points.

I remember, back at my old company, always marveling at how my old boss could always talk through her slides in calls without a script. She was always so natural, just talking through the points conversationally, never missing a beat. As opposed to me who was always robotically reading my carefully-scripted points out loud.

She would always tell me one day I’d be able to do the same, but I never really believed her. Until one day, I’m now really able to do the same. Which reminds me: I should write to give her this happy news! (We’re still in frequent contact – she’s a pretty cool person.)

The day was also interesting because I did a full MBTI test for the first time. For those who don’t know what MBTI is, watch this video.

I have done short, free versions before and wasn’t surprised with my results. I’m introverted, tend to take in facts and figures rather than ideas, make decisions with my heart over my head, and plan my life down to a T.

But doing the long version yesterday – there were 143 items in total – made me see myself in a new light.

I was asked to do two things: first, choose which option feels more natural to me e.g. I plan my day off or I run with it; and second, choose which word I prefer e.g. calm or gregarious.

And I discovered that maybe I’m not as ISFJ (shorthand for the italicised characteristics above) as I thought.

When asked whether I prefer planning my life down to a T or going with the flow, I actually found myself opting for the latter. In real life, I have my schedule down pretty much for every working day and most of my weekends. But if you ask me which I prefer: I really relish the rare evenings where I’ve got nothing planned and can just go wherever I want, do whatever I feel like doing. So I guess my preference and my reality somewhat diverge.

And that’s just one thing. I found more divergences in terms of how I am around people, how I value practicality versus ideas, so on and so forth. I sometimes found that if the items were phrased only slightly differently, my answer shifted immediately and swung from one end of the spectrum to the other.

So I’m pretty curious to see what my result is. I’ll find out in our team meeting next week which is what we’re doing the test for. We’ll all bring our results and based on that discuss how we can work better together as a team. Should be a pretty cool and fun meeting.

Alright, this has turned into a pretty long post, which is surprising because I didn’t really know what I was going to write about when I decided to update my blog half an hour ago. Again, on the spot!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading until the end.

Love,

Val

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