In today's economic landscape, it's more important than ever for businesses to accomplish more with less; a process known as boosting productivity. Productive employees output more work per specific unit of time than less productive employees. It is this increased efficiency that makes the business money.
But keeping employees productive is hard work. Why? Because productivity is primarily an inside job. You can't force it on someone. It comes from within a person and, essentially, is a measure of their motivation to close down tasks within a clearly defined timeframe.
One of the biggest sources of workplace conflict shows up in differences on the fourth dimension of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - Judging versus Perceiving. A person whose style is "J" will schedule things in advance, organize their work with attention to deadlines and keep their eyes firmly on the goal. A "P" on the other hand, is pretty loose and free wheeling. They like to work on multiple projects simultaneously and to keep their options open until the very last minute, rather than forming a plan ahead of time.
There's no shortage of guidance about how to respond to negative feedback. Whether the criticism comes as a shock or is entirely expected, the same advice is consistently touted: Listen carefully, don't get defensive, and act on the feedback to improve your performance.
Inspired by a similar post about Extraverts, I'm here to talk about the mistakes that Introverts—myself very much included—may be making without realizing it. Some of them are more obvious than others, but these are some that I've only recently caught myself doing.
While all educators are susceptible to burnout, the introverted teacher is fighting a unique battle. They are willingly immersing themselves in an environment designed to exhaust themselves.
As an introverted teacher, I quickly realized I was in over my head. It wasn’t the teaching itself that really got to me; it was the constant external stimulation that accompanies the world of education. Between busy hallways, loud noises, and bright lights I would, inevitably, be left utterly exhausted by mid-week.
Ah, the open plan office. It's to the 21st century what the cubicle farm was to the 1980s - everywhere. Today's employers are tearing down walls as a business imperative and with them, the barriers to communication and idea flow. Even freelancers are leaving their solitary kitchens and coffee shops. Formal co-working spaces, which offer pay-per-desk access to a community of like-minded individuals, are a mega-trend among the self-employed.
There's a myth that some people are creative and others aren't. This myth is perpetuated everywhere, from the world of art and literature to big business. Marketing departments employ "creatives" to come up with new ideas. Governments rely on "creative consultants" for fresh insights. Yet there's no reason why creativity should be limited to a type or a job description.
When asked to describe a great leader, which type of person springs to mind? The all-guns-blazing, exuberant networker? Or how about the dominant visionary who flips tradition on its head? Certainly not the understated loner who listens more than they speak, right?
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