Posts Tagged ‘Belbin team roles’

Who are you? (who-oo who-oo!)

June 27, 2010

I’ve always hated it when someone says to me ‘”tell me about yourself” – something which usually happens in an interview context when the interviewer hasn’t prepared properly, or has no idea how to conduct a thorough, behavioural interview. Tell you about myself in the context of what? Work? Personality? My life of travel, adventure and intrigue ??

Actually, it’s one of the most irrelevent questions there could possibly be. And here’s why.

You are not who you tell me you are, you are who you prove  yourself to be.

You’ve heard the maxim ‘actions speak louder than words’ and even the bible says “by their fruits shall you know them”.  It’s one of those age old rules…that many of us seem to forget.  

There are two sides of the coin here: if you feel the need to tell new aquaintances as much as you can about yourself in order to make a favourable impression, ask yourself  ‘why’. Are you really the person you are telling everyone about? Why do you feel the need to tell everyone…is it in case they don’t believe you??   I’ve met some lovely people who seem to strive to be liked in this way, little realising that there’s no need. Just being themselves is more than enough.

On the other side of the coin,  I’ve been majorly caught out by people who have professed to be one thing… and turned out to be quite the reverse. I have to take a share of the blame here: I was far too eager to listen to who they told me they were rather than looking at how they conducted themselves.  This approach has cost me a lot of money, time, and emotion.

So a word to the wise – look for actions not words:  if someone tells you they are a good listener, make sure they don’t keep interrupting everyone else. If someone tells you how generous they are – watch them give. If someone tells you all about their abilities – wait and see how they apply them. In this way, to paraphrase another ‘Who’ song, you’re less likely to get fooled again.

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What kind of person are you??

May 10, 2010

 Don’t you just love those personality quizzes in magazines and on Facebook? Anyone and his dog can offer to tell you what kind of horse, film star, lover, cat, star wars persona etc etc etc you are?

Even kid’s magazines have them – are you a Gabriella or a Sharpay, a Troy or a Chad? What kind of best friend are you? Who’s your fashion icon?

We seem to just LOVE being told who we are, and like with the Facebook quizzes, when the result is not to flattering, we just don’t share it with our friends…I’ll even admit to going back and answering the questions again to try to come up with a more favourable result! What a cheat!

Here’s the serious point: how far do you let other people define you….and then proudly wear their definition like a badge?

I’ve even seen it done with some of the serious, well respected and well researched personality and trait  indicators that are widely used in the corporate sector – I’ve heard people anounce that they are an ABC or whatever as a reason (one might unfavourably say “an excuse” ) for their behaviour. It’s as if they’re saying ‘this is my type, this is what I am, so this is what you can expect from me”.  

I’m sure I hardly need say that these bona fide personailty tests were not devised for people to use them as an escape route!

It does raise an interesting point, though. Throughout our lives, we’re allow ourselves to be defined by things other than ourselves: our family, our friends, where we live, our qualifications (or lack of), our politcial affiliations. There is bound to come a time when these definitions will be limiting, and if we believe in them too strongly, they’ll hold us back.

Maybe it’s time to start defining and refining ourselves (honestly, not arrogantly) rather than allowing everyone else to do it for us.