Round Peg

This is a guest post by Barry Pearman

‘Barry, you’re always going find it difficult to communicate in this team.’

Ever had a moment when some complete stranger has told you something about yourself, in a nutshell, that makes you sit and wonder if they have some sort of supernatural x-ray vision into your psyche?

This was the experience I had from my second assessment of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

I had been working in this organization for 13 years, and here we were for another team planning day at the commencement of a year. I dreaded these days for various reasons, but on this particular day we had a guest facilitator. She took us through various exercises that helped us assess our personality types.

I had done this assessment before and had come out as ISFJ. This time however there was one little, but actually major, letter change. I was now an INFJ.

At the end of the exercise we went around and shared our various profiles and it became very clear that the majority of personality types were ESTJ. It was then that the facilitator told me just how difficult it would be for me to function in this organisation. That the culture was ESTJ and the dominant leadership style was ESTJ.

It wasn’t just a penny that dropped, it was a million of them. It explained so many frustrations I had experienced.

I was the round peg banging up against the walls of a square hole. I didn’t fit, and I felt it. In fact my whole life felt it. I was burnout with no realisation of the smell of smoke. After 13 years there wasn’t much flame left and I needed to get out. I resigned the next day.

Do you at times feel that you don’t fit?13125024_1004487356295981_1153672311225824472_n

Perhaps you have been in a career position that is functional, pays the bills but where there is no spark.

Do you have a young teenager that is exploring that next stage of life. You think you know them, but just because you have known them all their lives doesn’t mean you know everything about them.

Maybe you have told yourself repeatedly that you are who you are and that’s all there is to it. Yet underneath you sneakingly suspect there is more.

When we diminish, devalue or dismiss who we truly are we do ourselves and others a disservice. We rob ourselves and the world of the gift that we are.

5 takeaways

  1. You have only one shot at today.
    You won’t be able to go back to today tomorrow. I have above my desk this picture.

    There is a lot of roadkill out there of people who haven’t unleashed their lives. They are stuck in the same rut because it’s safe and predictable -supposedly. Don’t be that person.

2. Get someone with a lot of experience to assess your MBTI.
My first MBTI was done with someone who I believe didn’t have a lot of experience in testing. They were not able to coach through the finer points and give direct advice based on years of experience.

3. Don’t be afraid to take a look under the hood.
We so often take on the projections of others. That we are ‘this or that’. With MBTI being an unbiased assessment tool it can give you a true profile of who you are and why you do what you do. From this you can go on to appreciate, value and strengthen those qualities that make you – you!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. Dr. Seuss

4. There are consequences of trying to be a round peg in a square hole.
Yes, I know it’s meant to be square peg in a round hole, but for me the hole that my roundedness was trying to fit into was very square. All that subconscious effort led to burnout. A place of deadness in my being.

Here is what I would like you to do

  1. Schedule a time with Allison for your ‘Youer than You’ to get MBTI and some coaching.
  2. Discuss with Allison about the use of MBTI in your team
  3. Leave a comment below
  4. Share this post


Barry Pearman

Round Peg Square Hole

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