I discovered that I am a dolphin in an owl costume!
You might be asking yourself right now “What does that mean?”, or you may be telling yourself “Stefanel is completely crazy”, but I want you to understand that this apparently nonsensical statement has been a great realization that is already helping me tailor my behaviors when dealing with my peers and leaders.
Before you reassure yourself that I must be crazy, please allow me to explain. During our first EDI session after kickoff, Linda Callecod came in and explained to us the concept of behaviors styles and their characteristics. How did I get to animals? Well, during our session we explored the idea that people can be grouped into four major behavioral style profiles – controllers, persuaders, stabilizers, and analyzers - and those profiles, in turn, can be associated with specific animals – lions, dolphins, Saint Bernards, and Owls, respectively.
It turns out that I classify myself as a dolphin (aka persuader), but the nature of the work I do forces me to be an owl – an analyzer. My natural behavior is to really care about people and who needs to be involved to successfully meet goals. However, as a manufacturing technology developer, I am driven every day to be focused on the details and the rigorousness of the information available to make decisions. I will not lie. I was taken back when the answers of my own assessment suggested me to be an owl. That did not make sense to me, but it triggered deep self-inspection that allowed me to reach the previously stated conclusion and proudly embrace it. Yes… I dance along the boundary of prioritizing sometimes answering “who?” and other times “why?” There are days where information oversharing is the norm and others where quiet overthinking dominates. In occasions, I will choose the agility of quick judgments based on hunches or, in contrast, I will sometimes slowly and intensely analyze details and facts. This paradoxical state of being is who I am and I’m glad I’ve been provided with the tools to understand it.
This session provided me with the knowledge to develop enhanced awareness not only of my behaviors and natural tendencies but also the behaviors of my peers and leaders. This awareness gives me the power to “show up” and project myself in a manner that addresses the needs of my colleagues while always being true to myself… after all, being a dolphin in an owl costume is already pretty cool.