The Face We Choose To Show

31 Jan

This week at work we had a staff training session that was focussed on identifying differing personalities and how they liked to be communicated with, and working accordingly.

I'm not shy!

We were split into groups and had to conduct a series of role plays. One of the tasks was to draw a stick figure of yourself and write some points on how you felt you communicated with people. We then had to turn the paper over and draw the figure again, but this time we were given a pile of post it’s  and had to go around and put notes on other people’s stick figures, to say how we thought they communicated. The task was to see how many of your own ones mirrored that of your peers, and it was really interesting. I got some really conflicting points, and as the new girl, it was clear who I had taken the time to talk to and who I hadn’t really got into a dialogue with yet. The people closest to me in the office described me as confident, approachable and a good listener, while the people I hadn’t spoken to had one resounding comment. Shy.

I’m not really shy at all, however in a group situation if I don’t feel confident I tend to take a step back. I can be quite opinionated but often don’t feel comfortable saying what I think in front of strangers, and I tend to be very defensive when it comes to criticism. My nearest and dearest know this about me and I am working on taking constructive comments less to heart, but for this reason I tend to sit quietly when out of my comfort zone.

Another task that we were given was to go through a tick sheet and tick any words that we felt described our personalities. The words were divided up into four sections, but we were specifically told not to think too much about it, simply ticking words that we felt were pertinent to us.

When we were done we totalled up each category and found that we were specific to one type of person. Personalities were directors, presenters, strategists and mediators. Which do you think I fell into?


Directors: like to be in control. Results orientated. Quick to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Strengths are that they can make decisions quickly, do what is necessary to succeed, natural leader and highly creative, but their weaknesses are that they are lone rangers, can be judgemental and dominating.


Presenters: love to talk, excellent communicators, crowd pleasers, empathetic with other people, and are an ideas factory. Their weaknesses however are that they may not always be taken seriously, like to be appreciated and they don’t manage either time or money well.

Mediators: the person that everyone likes. Good listeners, sense of humour, predictable, open and honest. Their weaknesses are that they don’t like surprises, may be difficult to get to know and are overly sensitive to criticism.

Strategist: likes people, but not in large groups, clear communicators, like to think things through. They tend to be critical, slow to action and worry a lot.

It turns out that I sit firmly on the fence between two of these personality traits; one more in a work environment and one more in my personal relationships. Did you guess? I fell quite clearly between the presenter and the mediator which I found to be strange as some of the qualities completely contradict one another. The lady running the class said this was quite natural and a lot of people found that they fell clearly between two ‘types’ of personality.


But it made me think a lot about how we aren’t little islands in the sea, and how the way we like to be treated in our personalities affects the way we interact with other people. I had a bit of a confidence knock in the winter of 2011, and my personality seems to have changed a little. I tend to be a lot more nervous nowadays, second guessing things that don’t need worrying about and stressing unnecessarily. I am however fairly confident that once I have been to America I will get my groove back and return to the more fun, less worried person I was in the summer. It’s very unlike me, but 2012 feels like a lucky year, so I look forward to it!

How would you define your personality? What traits from these groups do you think you show?


14 Responses to “The Face We Choose To Show”

  1. visitingmissouri January 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    When I read this, I fall between a mediator and a strategist. I see the value of criticism, I often look for it, but it takes a lot of guts to hear it.

    America certainly did it for me, I hear the weather in CA is even better 😉

  2. Marvin the Martian January 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    OMG, I was at a client recently where everyone had their MMPI graph posted on their office door. I thought it was annoying and invasive. If I worked there, I would have to borrow someone else’s graph and post it as mine, because otherwise everyone would be afraid to even knock.

  3. Marvin the Martian January 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Sorry, Myers-Briggs, not MMPI. Both of mine are frightening to most people.

  4. spree January 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Well not that anyone (but perhaps me) would be interested, but i fall into the mediator category with strong presenter tendencies.

  5. prenin January 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Mediator/Strategist is my best guess – add to that Paranoid and mistrustful (Goes with the territory) 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  6. ceciliag January 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    What a great workshop.. and thank you for telling us about it as now we can all have a look at ourselves and how we interact with each other.. Oh that’s right. it is just me and a few sheep, some chickens and a cow.. i am the director then! well that was easy! c

  7. Rach @ This Italian Family January 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    I am SO a Mediator. No doubt about it. With the exception that I don’t feel like I’m all that difficult to get to know since I’m really bad about “over-share” haha! But yeah, that is definitely me. 😉

  8. gojulesgo February 1, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Woo hoo! Yes, America will bring the red, white and I guess hopefully NOT blue to your life 😉

    I guess I see myself in a little bit of all of those groups, but if I had to say, mostly mediator!

    • tinkerbelle86 February 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      a month today!!! 🙂 and then ill get my snap bands. this of course is the only reason im going!

  9. topiclessbar February 1, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Just wanted to say that I really relate to that last paragraph. I, too, had what I guess could be called a ‘confidence knock’ and I’ve noticed that after it I haven’t been acting the same. So, in short, it was just good to hear that from someone else – best luck in getting back on your feet! : )

    And, not for nothing, I think I’m either a mediator or a strategist…or some sort of hybrid…stratiator.

  10. nelle February 1, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    I tend not to like these sort of practises. Role playing has its place, but there is also a danger of creating insecurity and animosity, while making judgements off a few assembled words. In other words, people measuring methodology in general I find wanting and overblown. If I interact with someone on an extensive basis, my skills are quite good at sussing out strengths and weaknesses… so the best one could expect from this is basically what you insinuate, it made you think on things some.

    If I took this test in college, I was someone who hid in the dark corner, hoping not to be seen. Now, I occasionally speak to students on my life and lgbtq issues, quite an evolution.

    Change brings uncertainty. By nature if fun loving, you will return there once you find a new equilibrium and comfort.

  11. madakanto February 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Funny…I also step back when I meet new people and just listen.Before I open my mouth I need to feel confident. then, we did sort of the same test at school, but with colors, eg. Directors are red, mediators are green, strategists are blue and presenters are yellow. final results for me was Green and Red, which is not always easy to deal with ! Wish you very happy 2012!

  12. twindaddy February 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    If I could only choose one, it would be director. But there were some things that define me in each personality.

  13. Roshni February 3, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Loved this post! I think I fall between the presenter and the mediator too… When I read the characteristics mentioned, I felt I was reading something about me! 🙂

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