Thursday, January 31, 2008

A wish .....

“If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University.

Some time ago I attended a conference where a small group of people were unable to restrain themselves and the above quote rang a loud bell.
At this conference some delegates wore their Type Profiles like badges of honour and it had me longing for a bit of old fashioned good manners and common courtesy.
Indeed, given we all had our profiles on our badges, it obviously made the journey from "badge" to "badge of honour" so much easier for those who wanted to wear it

It lead me to think: Wouldn't it be nice if certain types, indeed all types, could leave their Type badges in the corridor before they entered the lecture, or workshop venue.
Well, I have noticed during a number of Personality Type conferences that facilitators are often waylaid by attendees who demand recognition of their type and demand "Type Rights".
For example:
- an Extravert demanding to speak, whenever on whatever
- a Sensing Thinking Judging type demanding structure and time-lines
- an iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving type demanding free-form and hugs
And it happened to me.
That's when it all came home.
I was facilitating what I imagined to be a cool, laid back gathering of my peers, when I was suddenly, from the rear of the room, gang-attached by a marauding mob of STJs (sensing thinking judgers).
It was fun at first, then it turned serious.
It all reminded me of the other facilitators I had witnessed being trapped in similar circumstance and I thought: How bloody selfish and self centred can you get?
Many I know attend conferences in sponge mode, believing the best way to get the best out of any session is to absorb the material, however it is delivered, and to encourage the facilitator to give as much as he or she can.
In the case of an iNtuitive Thinker, this might mean a bloody good challenge, or not, because being an NT does not mean you are forever in NT, stuck there until you kark it.
If a person is who they are and that is all they have ever been and all they will ever be and they are stuck there with so concept of movement, of change, of exploring the other sides of their preferences, or of what Jung called Individuation, fine, but could it would be nice if they allowed the rest of us to flex, to shift, to shake, to move on.

[The above quote came from the New York Times, an article by MATT RICHTEL.

Published: November 4, 2007. Read it in full here: NYT.]

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