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.”