Introvert or extrovert? Which one are you? And does it really matter in the workplace as long as you are smart and work hard? The reality is that most people possess some characteristics associated with both personality types, though often with a strong tendency in one direction. And yes, those traits can have a big impact on how you interact and succeed in your career.
With research indicating that a large percentage of librarians are introverts, developing knowledge and skills about individual temperaments is essential for library professionals and leaders interested in building the emotional intelligence competence and skills to be successful in today’s workplace. Learning to harness the talents of different temperaments – yours and others – is a skill that can be learned.
Join the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) for the 6th LLAMA Career Institute – entitled Noticing Self: Developing Emotional Intelligence Skills for Professionals and Leaders – on Friday, January 20, 2017, at 1 p.m. Held in conjunction with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, this half-day LLAMA Career Institute will feature Pearl Alexander, an Atlanta-based speaker and coach and Executive Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).
“Developing the ability to honor the diversity of dimensions such as individual temperament and traits serves leaders well,” states Alexander, “When the strengths of an introvert are leveraged alongside those of an extroverted partner, a foundation for phenomenal success is built.” Engaging professionals and leaders in understanding diverse perspectives like introversion and extroversion is key to fostering inclusive cultures, according to Alexander, and is a focus of her work at Georgia Tech.
Based on her work in this area, Alexander will deliver a 3.5-hour interactive workshop that will allow participants to explore and identify their personal traits and identities, develop an understanding of the dimensions of temperament, and how these traits affect professionals, managers, and leaders. Individuals will have the opportunity to self-reflect on their introversion or extroversion, associated triggers, and behaviors in order to become more socially aware and to improve their overall emotional resiliency and social and emotional intelligence.
So how do you “show up” for work? Do you know how you come across or “land” on other people? Does a natural tendency to introversion make you feel ill at ease at times? As an extrovert, do you feel different than some of your library colleagues? Have some interactions left you feeling overwhelmed or sensitive and bruised?
This LLAMA Career Institute will provide an opportunity to explore these topics in a half-day interactive workshop that will focus on identifying traits associated with extroverts, introverts and a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), a distinct personality trait that affects one in every 5 people who has a sensitive nervous system and is more easily overwhelmed when in highly stimulated environments. This 6th offering of the LLAMA Career Institute will focus on helping participants to enhance their professional knowledge and expertise and skills in 4 of the 14 foundational competencies identified by LLAMA – emotional intelligence, communication skills, problem solving, conflict resolution.
In 2012, Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explored the psychological research to better understand the value and place of introverts in our world. Given that at least one-third to one-half of people self-identify as introverts, Cain’s book ignited a national conversation about introversion and extroversion, and what each temperament offers in the workplace and to society. Cain specifically cites librarianship as a profession where introverts might find a space and place to contribute; she does this in a positive and affirming manner moving past traditional librarian stereotypes to acknowledge and recognize the unique gifts of introverts as well as extroverts.
Arianna Huffington and others have noted that Cain’s 2012 book tapped into something big. The Huffington Post launched Quiet Revolution, a special section of its website –http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/quiet-revolution/ – to highlight writings of thought leaders, authors, parents, educators, researchers, and experts. Since the publication of Cain’s book, the topics of temperament and introversion-extroversion have emerged in the management and leadership literature and led to the creation of the Quiet Leadership Institute (http://qli.quietrev.com/). Cain’s bestseller complements the work of a number of other authors who have chosen to explore such themes in other works that focus on identifying and celebrating diverse temperaments in positive ways – such authors and works include those by Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, 1997), Marti Olsen Laney (The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive in An Extroverted World, 2002), Beth L. Buelow (Insight: Reflections on the Gifts of Being An Introvert, 2012 and The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms, 2015), and Jennifer Kahnweiler (The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, 2009,Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, 2013, and The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together, 2016).
Among executive leaders and peers, Alexander is known as a confidante, co-creator, and critical thinker with relationship savvy. Currently, she oversees professional development and learning curricular innovations that cultivate diversity of talent, fosters engaging relationships, and models inclusive excellence.
Under Alexander’s leadership, Georgia Tech received its first national diversity award from the U.S. Department of Labor, EVE Award; and has been recognized in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For Program in the category of workplace equity. Pearl has spoken for organizations such as The International Coaches Federation (ICF) – Georgia Chapter, The Association of Talent Development – Atlanta Chapter, The Conference Board- NYC, and The Linkage Diversity Conference – Atlanta on topics related to leadership development.
Throughout her progressive 29-year career, she has developed the skills that help make her a visionary leader capable of catalyzing transformations in culture and organizational leadership practices. As a self-proclaimed introvert, she has learned to honor her “introversion” while “adopting a few extroverted skills to serve her well,” as she notes in this recent online interview:
She participates in think tanks, writes articles, and shares commentary to inspire others to access their personal power and step into “wholeness.” She is a certified professional coach, integrating expertise in diversity and inclusion principles within her coaching practice and talent consulting services where she focuses on teaching and coaching leaders to recognize, value, and leverage diversity of temperament.
The LLAMA Career Institute is open to all. Registration costs will cover workshop materials and an afternoon refreshment break. Costs for this LLAMA Career Institute are:
- $175 for LLAMA Divisional Members (use event code “LAM1” when registering);
- $225 for ALA members;
- $100 for Students and Retired Members; and
- $325 for Non-Members.
On-site registration will be subject to availability and will be $325.
Pre-registration prior to December 1, 2016 is recommended as this workshop is limited to 50 participants. Register online at: http://2017.alamidwinter.org/ticketed-events – this takes you to “Ticketed Events” on the ALA Midwinter site; then search for LLAMA Institute (Event Code: LAM1).
Introduced at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the LLAMA Career Institute is a continuing education offering aimed at early-career professionals and professionals at any career stage seeking to acquire new knowledge, skills, and competencies in support of active and ongoing career development or potential career changes. Previous institute topics have been: Planning Your Next Career Move: Developing a Game Plan (2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting/Seattle); Writing & Editing: Developing Career Skills and Building Your Professional Reputation (2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting/Philadelphia); Project Management for Librarians: Planning for Success (2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting/Chicago); and Mind Over Matter: Sustainable Success for Library Leaders (2015 ALA Annual Conference/San Francisco); and What Matters, A Workshop for Developing and Articulating Our Values(2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting/Boston).