Saturday, March 18, 2017

Inner peace

Last weekend, I was thinking about writing a post on introversion/extroversion, when I remembered I already did something like that a year ago, and for much the same reason.

This time last year we held a division-wide all staff meeting. Given that we were bringing hundreds of people together from all over the province, and that most of them work directly on front counters serving the public, that conference took place over a weekend which took away the time I normally depend on - as an extreme introvert - to recharge my mental batteries.

Last weekend I reached the end of two weeks of highly intense and interactive departures from regular work, which for introverts is the definition of exhaustion.

We had another division-wide conference, but this time it was a smaller group and was able to take place on regular workdays. It was three days of presentations (which us directors had to prepare and deliver) and some great conversations. On its own that would have been fine, but by sheer coincidence it was book-ended by four days’ traveling out of town on an intense project workshop the preceding week, and followed by two days’ highly interactive training on, of all things, giving presentations.

Don’t get me wrong, these were all fabulous experiences individually, but run them consecutively and by the end I was ready for the funny farm.

It’s taken me the past week to get back on an even keel work-wise and energy-wise. Along the way it got me musing about the kinds of people the workplace values.

As a society, we claim to value diversity, and yet it seems we consistently revert to one image of success: that of outgoing sociability, to whom “networking opportunities” represent joy unbounded. This ignores a significant portion of the population to whom the words invoke a visceral dread.

It kinda peeves me that people seem to expect introverts to behave like extroverts in order to progress, but that seems to be the world we live in. Is my perspective simply skewed? How does it look from your perspective?

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying a weekend of rest and re-energizing activities such as reading and writing and long walks in the spring sunshine. How about you?


  1. Yes, we value diversity so long as everyone acts the same.

  2. Hi Ian -I'm social, yet not so ... I really don't like the idea of team building sessions - thankfully I rarely had to partake of them ...

    Enjoy your peace and re-energising time ... cheers Hilary

  3. I'm not a complete introvert, but that would exhaust me. Like you, I need recharging time.
    Completely agree with Stephen.

  4. Stephen, yes, I think you just summarized it perfectly!

    Hilary, oddly enough I place a great deal of value on those kinds of sessions, but that doesn't make them any less tiring :)

    Alex, glad to know I'm not the only one thinking that.

  5. I love Stephen's comment. So true. Most writers are introverts. I'd rather observe than participate, but dang, at times you're expected to open your mouth. Have a relaxing, rejuvenating time, Ian and hope work isn't as stressful when you return.

  6. Denise, the weekend refreshed me, and better still I'm looking forward to a few days' vacation around the coming weekend too!

  7. Having come off (As of an hour ago) of a month of my weekends being full of social interaction above and beyond work, I'm with you here. I could use about week in a quiet place with someone else to take care of everything for me. So a vacation. Yes, that would be wonderful. At least I have tomorrow to recharge.

  8. Jean, hope you're having better luck recharging than I am :( I think this will be the subject of another post.

    1. As a follow up, I spent most of the day in bed binge watching The Crown. Nothing like a good escape from responsibility and reality to charge the batteries - at least when a real vacation isn't possible. :)

  9. Goodness, I hear you there! LOL. My energy levels are anything but ideal. Here's to pushing through and finding our mojo when we're ready. =)


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