“Oh. So…I guess we are talking to people today?” As these words entered my thought stream, it startled me. It was a beautiful day, unseasonably warm for the first Saturday in May. My husband and I had brought our kids to our neighborhood beach to enjoy the 85-degree weather and to splash in the (still very chilly) lake for the morning. He was standing on the beach chatting (socially distant) with a few other husbands that were near us, though we did not know any of them personally. In DISC speak, I am a “High I” (extroverted and people oriented), a 93 “I” to be exact which typically makes this situation my happy place: standing in the sun, watching my kids play on the beach with the opportunity to talk to a whole group of people I didn’t know.
I have loved meeting new people my entire life. I talk to everyone, the cashier at the grocery store, the person walking past me in a University of Michigan t-shirt (Go Blue!), once, in 2011, I even met a woman at a Red Robin in Towson, Maryland and she ended up a bridesmaid in my wedding the following year. Turning strangers into friends is kind of “my thing”. Yet somehow, sitting in my beach chair that sunny Saturday, all I could feel was dread at the idea of interacting with new people. I stood up and did my best to engage pleasantly, but it was so…much…work. It was a feeling I had never experienced before, and it was shocking.
Later that week, I recounted the story to Bluewater team member and resident High S (introverted and people oriented), Betty Enslow. As I described the shock and exhaustion from the weekend’s encounter, she smiled and said, “Welcome to the life of an introvert!”. We laughed and I immediately had a new respect for the effort it takes introverts to interact with people all day in a work setting.
As I continue to sit with this new experience, it has occurred to me that the past year of working remotely has drastically changed the way I interact with clients as well as friends and family. There has been a lot of change required out of the way I work and live, much like many of us have experienced. Things I have always known as “truths” about how I operate professionally and personally have changed quite a bit thanks to the adaptation the past year has required. What I also know to be true, in spending my days working with professionals in both coaching and training situations, is that I am not alone. Many of us who have known ourselves or our employees in certain ways, have seen a change over the past year. Sometimes slight, sometimes drastic.
In the coming weeks, as we begin to fall deeper into our lives on the other side of a global pandemic, I will be re-taking the Talent Insights assessment to see how the last year has impacted my DISC and Driving Forces. These results will increase my self-awareness regarding the value I bring to Bluewater and to our clients, to see potential pitfalls I might fall prey to and will help me to avoid them. Additionally, it will help those I work with understand “Lindsey on this side of the pandemic” so that we are better able to communicate, bring value to our clients and enjoy working together. I invite you to contact us about re-taking a Talent Insights if it has been a while since your last assessment, or to take one for the first time if you haven’t ever before. The knowledge gained from the results and increased self-awareness makes a huge difference in the line of work I do as a leader and I am willing to bet it plays just as large of a role in your work! We look forward to connecting with you soon!