The meeting went well with Mike on Monday. I like what he does and the way he approaches his work. Our conversation reminded me of what I had heard Ade McCormack say at the back end of last year. ‘Business will continue to change. We’ll continue to be automated out of work (as we have been ever since we picked up a flint) and so we need to do stuff software and robots can’t do.’
Technology so far has been unable to build relationships. A handshake, a connection or even a poke are not the same thing. Nuance is replaced with logic. There is no substitute for face to face contact as humans are feeling creatures foremost. Technology will not be the end of human contact. Instead it will help us to make time for more. Building meaningful relationships is the stuff that software and robots can’t do.
We talked around the ideas I had to help me play the different roles that are expected of me and how I sometimes feel that the person I need to portray is not who I am. Sometimes I think I am someone that I don’t want to be. I described some circumstances in which I struggle: when I am metaphorically cornered; when I struggle to get my point across; when I am presenting to a large crowd and: when I come across as a know it all.
He suggested a different approach. Rather than trying to create a split between the person I am and the person I am trying to play it would be better to develop those personality traits that are already in me and to learn how to use them when appropriate. I need to learn how to play the different characters that I already am.
One of my own adages is that you should be who you are. You just can’t keep up being someone that you are not. It’s just too hard and so learning to recognise what you are good at and what you are not is a key development opportunity.
I need to be able to recognise the situations I find myself in and reach into my toolbox to pick out the most appropriate implement. Perhaps a good workman doesn’t blame his tool but rather understands them? Character and personality are multi-faceted and my desire is to be able to present the facets I want in the full knowledge of what I am doing. In this way I will remain authentic and true to myself.
We agreed a few dates for us to meet up and he gave me some homework. I have to read the book ‘The Wisdom of the Enneagram’ by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson. It promises the complete guide to psychological and spiritual growth for the nine personality types. Now I know there are not nine different types of person. There are more like nine billion different types of people yet, despite this, I’m going to give it a try. I’ve ordered it from a recognised book seller but don’t tell my leadership team, as I’m not supposed to read any more management theory.