Monday, 26 January 2015

Hooked on a Feeling !! - Day 58

Day 58 (27th January 2015)

58th hexagram in the I Ching, known as Tui or 兌 (duì),
referred to as the youngest daughter, is a character in the ancient Chinese divination
practice, which uses 6 apparently random numbers turned into a hexagram, with a meaning
ascertained via the I Ching texts. 
Tui is said to represent "Joy", with both the inside and
outside world being in harmony. 
The hexagram is said to depict two lakes and is interpreted as
a demonstration of inner strength, 
cheerfulness, an ability to be flexible and to show courtesy to others.
A sole lake evaporates easily, but when two are linked they support each other, Tui represents 
this, demonstrating the benefit of discussion, sharing knowledge & practices with like-minded fellows

Steve Browne is the author of today's post - Steve is based in the U.S.A. in West Chester, Ohio, where he works as the Executive Director for Human Resources for LaRosa's, Inc. - a regional pizzeria chain. He is a strategic HR professional, with a passion for employee relations, networking and organisational culture. He, himself, is excellent at networking and very well connected within the global HR community. Steve is a knowledgeable dynamo - his passion, drive and enthusiasm acts as a glue for many of us. He loves interacting on social media, his Twitter handle is @sbrownehr and he writes an excellent blog, Everyday People. Steve is a vibrant, warm and welcoming individual. When not doing things for HR, he is supporting his community; he is a devoted husband and father and a lover of rock music. He brings a smile to my face whenever we interact.

This is the last in the Advent Blog series - it's always good to end on a high. I would like to thank you all for giving me a chance to get to know you (especially the authors) and to interact with you (anyone who has read/commented on the posts). I had no idea when I told Alison that I would host on her behalf that it would be such a wonderful and rewarding experience. You are brilliant.


I am wired a bit differently than most folks I know.  I don’t mean in some creepy way, but, you see I’m an extrovert who happens to work in Human Resources.

Now, you’d think that HR would be a field that would be a magnet for extroverts, but that really isn’t the case.  This “curse” has been with me all of my life.  Whenever I’ve taken an assessment, which is somewhat “mandatory” in HR, I peg the top of the scale of extroversion.  I’m nowhere close to the median, or the “safe” range for others.

I really don’t see being extroverted as a curse, and I only say that because it’s how others perceive it.  When you’re in social situations with extroverts, there’s an expectation that they are going to bring energy, have colorful stories and generate life to whatever is going on.  That may happen, but it’s also an odd expectation for us to live with.

Introvert and Extrovert speakers at and after a conference
I’d like you to look at extroversion in a different light.  I see that how I’m wired is a way to connect with people because one of the facts about how I approach each day is that I HAVE to be around people.  I rarely am alone on purpose. It’s an interesting dichotomy with my amazing wife because we are almost complete opposites.  If we go to a shopping mall, she would focus on the task at hand of purchasing some items, and I would be wandering throughout the mall just to see who I could meet.

What I’ve come to observe is that since people are somewhere along the introversion/extroversion scale that it’s better to meet people where they are instead of expecting them to be more like you.  This runs contrary to how most social interactions occur.  People tend to be self-focused instead of others-focused.  What if you changed your focus?  How do you think interactions with other people would go if you moved along the scale to cozy up with them at their point along the spectrum?

I would think that your interactions would be smoother, have more context and meaning and would also lead to other successful interactions !!
A successful interaction
We don’t want to do this because people are a giant ball of emotions.  We’re not really sure what emotions they will be bringing to an encounter, so we tend to keep an arm’s distance and never really take our time together past a very thin surface conversation.

My challenge for you is to get messy !!  We have emotions for a reason.  Do you really want to be connected to a myriad of automatons who give you the “I’m fine, and you?” response every time?  

I find that distance response to be more draining than coming across someone full of any kind of emotion.

This week, take a new approach and get hooked on feelings.  It will mean that you have to open up and share more intimately, but it’s really what people want.  We want meaningful relationships in life, at work and in our profession. Come clean and know that when you avoid the emotions that everyone brings to the situation, those emotions will show up somewhere else and it won’t be good.

Also, remember an answer to the obligatory “Hi, how are you?” doesn’t have to be neutral or assumed negative.  When I see someone and they ask me how I am I respond, “I’m Great !!” (and it’s true.)  I know that it’s the extrovert in me, but it’s also a choice. Being positive is a choice that makes each day, and every moment in it, spectacular !!

I hope that you know that there are people who really want to get to know you – on purpose.  Be on the lookout because I will find you to see if you’re great !!

Deborah Kerr (Marni Nixon singing) "Getting To Know You"
from "The King and I", 1956 film adaption of musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Blondie performing "One Way Or Another", 1979
(But, Steve is NOT a stalker)

1 comment:

  1. "It’s better to meet people where they are instead of expecting them to be more like you". This, combined with your overt customer centricity and curiosity are the keys to better conversations Steve. I also recognise having a polar opposite wife and know I'm wearing at times !!

    Thanks for this - explains a lot.