The Extrovert…

I spent a week at a Global team meeting in Oxford, at which several things happened which made me laugh. Naturally I intend to give you the full blow-by-blow account…

First off we did a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) exercise, in which you answer a series of questions and then do some very complicated scoring to find out which 4 of 8 preferences you have.

The options are:

  • Introvert (I) vs Extrovert (E)
  • Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P)
  • Intuitive (N) vs Sensing (S)

The basic premise of the MBTI is that we all have elements of all 8 personality traits – no-one is missing anything, but we each have a natural preference that we lean towards.

So, about 2 minutes after we added up our scores, and went on a coffee break, a colleague came up to me and said “Maya, I just need to know if your score says you’re an E or not, because if you’re not, then I will immediately doubt the entire scientific premise of this exercise.”

Made me smile! Of course I’m an E! For those of you who are really interested, I’m an ENFP, with very high/strong E and F preferences, but very neutral N and P preferences.

Anyway, later that session, the facilitator invited us to come up to the board and write down our name and preference (should we feel comfortable sharing it) so that others in the team could see it and theoretically improve our ways of working and communication skills. Instantly a handful of people rushed up to the board, and wrote enthusiastically in large, bold capital letters. They were, of course, all Extroverts. Then once they were done, the introverts quietly made thier way up to the front and, finding that there was a limited amount of space left, were forced to write their names and preferences very small, squeezed in the spaces between the extroverts. A perfect metaphor if ever there was one….

Of course later on the same thing happened during a warm-up exercise of musical chairs – all the introverts went out first, and calmly sat down at the sides of the room, while the extroverts battled enthusiastically for the last chairs, while asking relevant questions such as “Is this a contact sport?”

Later that same week, we also randomly bumped into Mr David Cameron (the UK’s current Prime Minister for those of you not in the know). It was all very bizarre. We had been staying at this rather nice hotel all week, doing our training, and on Friday when we went over to lunch, it turned out the PM was there too. It seems he was giving out an award at the West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA!) – which is his constituency I think. We were trying to leave the lunch hall, and were asked to wait at one side so they could keep the door clear for the PM’s exit. There we all were, lined up feeling like muppets, looking as if we were keen admirers hoping to catch a glimpse, rather than a bunch of left-leaning aid workers keen to exit the lunch hall…..

Along came Dave, and I was just thinking “Oooh! I really should say something to him about Yemen!”
I was all poised to shout “Excuse me Mr Cameron, but what is your opinion of the war crimes currently being committed in Yemen, and the UK’s role in it by breaking the arms treaty?”, but then a youthful-looking whippersnapper got in there first by cleverly stepping in front of Mr Cameron, blocking the door and any hope of escape, and politely but firmly demanding some answers regarding the situation for junior doctors in the NHS….

So I just stood there like a lemon, waiting for my turn to leave, and thinking I was literally close enough to poke him with my finger. I contemplated it, but wasn’t sure how fast I would be tackled to the ground…

So, no joy on Yemen,  but having read a fair bit about the extremely poor treatment of the junior doctors in this latest contract row I am glad the whippersnapper got his turn to grill the PM. I am proud of our NHS, and would hate to see it driven into the ground by such stupid and incompetent people. It’s rare that I feel such utter distaste towards any particular politician, but frankly, Mr Hunt is now up there next to Nigel Farage and Nick Griffin in my book.

To read more about the disastrous things Jeremy Hunt is doing to our NHS, try a few of these articles…

And of course this one is just for comedy value…

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