Lunched with Victor, youthful president of a global-ueber-electronics firm, in the Chicago burbs this week. I relish Victor’s smarts. He reads brainy stuff, thinks in unexpected ways, keeps me on my conversational toes.
“I just watched this TED talk about the power of introverts,” Victor volunteers. “Interesting!”
I find myself starting to boil inside. Not at Victor – no, at this infuriatingly narrow and culturally perpetuated narrative about the introvert/extrovert dichotomy. Here it is, again.
I appreciate Susan Cain, the lovely and immensely articulate power-of-introversion speaker Victor references. Cain is a leader of the lets-reclaim-the-introvert movement. A backlash against a North American business culture that values constant collegial engagement.
Arrgh. More boil.
That’s one narrative. I propose another one.
I honor introversion. I honor extroversion. But I honor personal range more. I invite us all to find the mental switches that unleash more of who we really are, beyond the easy labels. I don’t care what kind of ‘vert you are – introvert, extrovert, outer-space-vert.
Here’s a phrase I sometimes toss at someone I coach: Show me your Larger Self.
What the heck is that? Yeah, good question. Consider some of these possible associations:
Your playful self
Your instinctual self
Your boisterous self
Your joyous self
Your extravagant self
Your spirited self
Your ebullient self
Your confident self
Yes, you get my biases in this language. Mind you – this list comes to you from someone who in traditional Carl-Jung-speak would be instantly labeled introvert.
When I sit in my office and write one of my Energy Boosts – you bet, I gleefully introvertize. But the moment I engage with another person, why not bring my larger self?
I don’t know what your larger self looks, but this I DO know: Your larger self will point you to your more energetic self. Guaranteed. Your energetic self will invoke more compelling business relationships. More compelling business relationships galvanize greater business success. Also guaranteed.
“My Larger Self” is a powerful mental switch. Experiment with it this week. Note what sorts of energies this switch unleashes within you. And enjoy.