Ambiverts

I learned a new term the other day following a hastag on Twitter. The #ASCD14 conference was happening. As I have learned, people tweet a ton from different conferences and share the “pearls” that are being presented, often from keynote speaker. Dan Pink, author and local Bethesda resident, was speaking at the ASCD Conference and was talking about ambiverts. I had an inkling as to what the term meant but needed to look it up some more. I found a great blog post on the topic and more writing from Dan Pink himself, as I did some research.

I have taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI) twice. The first time I was much younger and was much more of an extrovert, an E. The second time I took it was about ten years later and hugged the line, in between an Introvert and an Extrovert. I was now an I. So, I fit the profile of an ambivert, someone who stradles the line bewteen introvert and extrovert. The funny thing is, I always wanted to be ambidextrous (I spent an entire summer in my teen years trying to do everything left-handed). This may explain a great deal about me, but that is a MUCH longer blog post. I guess I became an ambivert before I became a lefty pitcher.

I took Pink’s self-assessment, which announced, “You’re an ambivert.” This only confirmed my hunch. Pink spells out his reasons why it is good to be an ambivert in an article in the Washington Post. It even looks to be more financially rewarding to be an ambivert. This is a good read, especially in the context of educators. We work with introverts, extroverts and now ambiverts every day. It is good to know it is not as black and white as introverts and extroverts. Emotional intelligence (EQ) has to play into this as well. Knowing “when to listen and when to speak and when to be outwardly assertive and inwardly confident” speaks to the ambiverts role in the Goldilocks Phenomenon. It’s not about being too hot or too cold, it is all about being “just right.”

Compunction

I am not usually a user of “big words.” For one, I want to make sure I know what I am saying before I say it. Secondly, “big words” scare me. Today, as we walked down to mass for Ash Wednesday, Fr. Ray Kemp asked me if I knew what the word compunction meant. I had no clue, but thanks to modern technology, I pulled out my iPhone and looked it up. The definition from Webster’s was good, but I liked what Fr. Kemp said better.

“Bring up the not so good stuff so you can get rid of it.” The message rings true, certainly for Lent, but it is not exclusive to religion. This is a good idea in any “season.” As Fr. Kemp spoke more during mass he used some more “C” words, confidence and community. If you have read my blog before you know that I love “C” words.

Compunction requires reflection and reflection calls us to action. The action is to get rid of the bad “stuff.” Whether we give something up as a sacrifice or call ourselves to “do something,” compunction calls us to see where we have fallen short and act on it in a way that truly gets us to repent. A good friend of mine recently wrote a blog post that talked about the age old question that comes up in every interview, “Can you tell me about a time you made a mistake and what did you do about it?” Personally, I struggle with getting beyond the past 12 hours before I find one.

Compunction calls us to do something about it, not just call out where we came up short. That is what I love about the message from Fr. Kemp today. May we all live our lives by recalling where we may have come up short and gameplan how we will develop our confidence and stronger communities moving forward. As we learned from Fr. Kemp and St. Francis today, it is all about what we can do for others. Thanks for a great message today Fr. Kemp. As always, Keep it Real!