For the longest time through my engineering career I labeled myself an ‘introvert’. You know, the typical engineer stereotype: reserved, shy, maybe a bit nerdy. OK, maybe seriously nerdy. In any case, I just considered myself the stereotypical engineer introvert.
This was despite the fact that I was leading people, talking in front of groups of peers, and working in project teams. In each of these situations, I was actively communicating with other people and doing so with a specific intent: to move them. Move them to do something. Change a behavior, react to tasks they were assigned, maybe help me accomplish a co-goal.
In reality, I wasn’t just an introvert. I was bit more than that. But I wasn’t an extrovert either. So what was going on? [Read more…]