Life Of An Introvert At A B-School
I sit here typing in the cosy comfort of my room and this is exactly what I want to do, I have done some surfing on the internet (Apparently 3M makes many more products apart from post its) and I am thinking about a lot of my fellow mates here. Yesterday I was at a regional dinner, I was trying to ‘socialise’ – by that, I mean I was trying to talk to people I do not know. Networking is a buzz word in b-schools and everyone tries to follow it diligently, from mess halls to elevators everyone is always interacting, talking and learning, after all we learn mostly from our peers here. But sometimes I crave for the odd moments of silence, where I can reflect on all the things going around and introspect in peace. Sometimes I need hours of it.
At parties my favourite pass time is listening to people, especially when they are high, I do not feel the constant pressure to talk, a quote I have read while growing up has somehow strongly stayed with me.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”
Being surrounded by extroverts this makes me look disinterested, shy or even rude sometimes, but I think the world is balanced because there are speakers as well as listeners. But I remember this party where there were many people like me, after a while there was a lot of silence and eventually we started making conversation and we had a lot of fun. It is a myth that you need to be loud overly gregarious “Network” a lot to be successful in a b-school, in fact in one of my Organizational Behaviour classes this myth was shattered.
As my professor succinctly explained, there is no introvert or extrovert in the world of work, everyone does whatever it takes to get a job done.He paused for a moment and asked us, “How would you categorise me as? Introvert or extrovert? “, he gave us some time to speculate. Our professor is a funny guy and likes to talk at length, most of us concluded that he was an extrovert. He later told us that he was an introvert and he had taken multiple MBTI tests and found that his personality type was introvert, in his personal life he could draw several parallel’s to the introvert character type. He said it all depends on where you draw your source of energy from, if it is the people around you or your own thoughts and reflections, or as it happens in several cases a combination of both. In his case he said ,after a class he needed to spend some time alone in silence to recharge himself.
The MBTI (Myers –Briggs Type) Indicator test gives an indication of how we differently interpret our experiences and what underlies our interests, motivation and values. As students of Business Management, although a lot of my peers consider human resource management and related subjects as non-value added activity and would rather do number crunching on an excel sheet than discover themselves a bit, a few of us were fascinated by what we discussed in class that day. Our sir had given us a list of potential careers which would fit our personality type, what I saw just strengthened my belief (Writer being on the top!).
To survive in the real world it is very important to understand ourselves and what motivates us so that we can put our best foot forward. It’s important to understand the same about others, as future managers motivating teams and aligning the interest of the groups we work in will form an important part of our job.