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  • Ruth Dettman

The longest 90 seconds...EVER

90 seconds. I could do that, right??

I wrote down what I was going to say, rehearsed it in my head, smiled gamely, and hit the video button on my camera.

Twenty takes later, and I was at my ‘smile for the camera’ limit (and at the limit of my phone’s storage).

Applying for a coach faculty role, one of the requirements was that I submit a 90-second video.

Being in front of cameras is one of my nightmares. It’s like a little bit of my privacy is being ripped away from me with every photo. Bit strange, right? Maybe not!

Please stand up

I, along with 1/3 to 1/2 of the population (including many of my clients), am an introvert. One client, in particular, comes to mind.

Senior leaders saw her as high potential, but she had to be more visible by presenting more often to senior committees. She hated the idea with a passion, as would the other few billion introverts in the world.

From personal experience and from what I have learned about observing introversion in my clients, this is a tricky challenge.

How does an introvert thrive in an extroverted world?

The Rubber Band Theory

Susan Cain, in her book “Quiet”, uses the metaphor of a rubber band when describing personality stretchiness - introverts taking on extrovert attributes or vice versa.

We can all do it but it needs to be for a great reason.

Stepping up

My client loved her job (most days), and she saw how she fit into the bigger picture and purpose of the organisation. Presenting to senior management for the sake of visibility was not enough to pull her out from her introverted personality.

She found a different path to increase her visibility AND to fit her personality a bit better. She created, organised and ran smaller workshop-style sessions. She presented on topics that mattered to her, and her energy came through loud and clear.

The next time she’s asked to present to senior management, especially if it’s a topic that she cares about, she will be more willing to step up.

Injury-free stretching

Below are my tips for figuring out when it’s the right time for you to stretch out your personality zone.

  1. Know your values. Is what you are asking yourself to do mean that you are living your values? For example, I have a client for which integrity is fundamental. For her, the decision is between avoiding conflict (as an introvert) and calling out behaviour inconsistent with company values.

  2. Know your big picture. What's important for you to achieve in 6 months or in 1 year? In my example, the 90-second pain-full video was 45 minutes in the making but leads to another potential revenue stream and my next level of coaching credential.

Stretching the personality zone can feel a bit uncomfortable but by keeping your eye on the prize, you can end up with some great results!

What's your stretchy story? Drop me a line, I'd love to hear it!


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