Back in 2009 I went to AYE (Amplify Your Effectiveness), a conference hosted by Jerry Weinberg, Steve Smith, Esther Derby, Don Gray, and Johanna Rothman. This conference was built around the Satir model, systems thinking, coaching, and MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). While some groan at the mere sight of MBTI, it doesn’t pretend to be science, and it’s a tool for learning about yourself so you can understand how you respond to things that happen around you.
I saw people walking around with their nametags and many had these weird four letters, such as ESTJ, INTJ, and more, on them. I asked Don what those meant so he gave me a book called What Type am I? by Renee Baron.
Of course, when my letters turned out to be INTP, my response was, “OH! I’m not an antisocial weirdo, I’m just introverted!”
Now here we are, eight-or-so years later, and I know better. I’ve taken the assessment twice more since then and I flop between INTP and ISTP. My preference for introversion is usually around 70 percent, which is odd because a few people have called me an “epic bridge builder” in organizations. While personal socialization has always been a challenge, socializing in a work environment has always come naturally to me.
This leads me to this week’s Happy Melly Challenge and I’d like to say I was excited to host it, but I really volunteered to do it because it scared the shit out of me.
Socializing is one of Jurgen Appelo’s 12-steps to happiness, and we underestimate how important it is when it comes to influencing change in our organizations. Perhaps my favourite example comes from Xerox.
The short version is that in the 1970s, their PARC research lab, headed by John Seely Brown, arguably invented the mouse, and made the laptop economically viable. Xerox didn’t profit from these products because, in his words, John failed to build up enough social capital with his peers who controlled the big budgets and made money for the company.
PARC had the best, brightest, and most innovative employees, had a budget, and a separate research facility, but he didn’t have the social capital to make these products a reality.
This week’s challenge is about how to navigate the social networks at work, and how to focus on building relationships with those who have the influence to make positive change.
Each day, on this post, there will a short video challenge for you. The first three people who complete one of the challenges will win a 1-year membership to Happy Melly!
Monday’s Challenge Video
Monday’s socialization challenge!
Tuesday’s Challenge Video
Find out something neat about your co-workers!
Final Challenge Video
REmind yourself to socialize!