Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom
It’s the issue of our time, whether accepted or not, but it seems so vast that it’s almost impossible for most of us to fathom what we can do about it.
A planetary scale challenge which would make the mighty quiver it can feel like looking at a mountain whilst standing at the base in flip flops and a swimsuit. For the average person, in most roles it is impossible to feel under equipped, ill prepared, perhaps even inadequate.
And yet, every day there are news items bombarding us with eco this, green that, rhetoric about how it’s all our fault and how we are letting down generations that we will never see. No wonder we find it hard to determine what we can do about climate change!
For some, it’s tackling the impossible that is a call to action, they will raise the battle cry, rally the legions to enable them to find the way forward.
Others prefer to understand what can be done through observation, investigation, enquiry and methodical advances.
Of course, there are some very high profile people who still deny there is a problem to be tackled, which is fine until they start to prevent keen people from progressing.
Every one of us is different, I’m not here to determine whether anyone is right, wrong or indifferent but the critical part of implementing any kind of strategy is figuring out who is going to help you to do it.
Whether you are the CEO of a multi-national organisation or an individual trying to gather support for a recycling programme in your office, you will find there are hundreds of different ways to respond to the idea.
Leadership programmes encourage us to embrace the individual, to work out strengths and understand how our teams work when they are at their best. Ultimately personalities have an influence on how individuals present themselves in the workplace.
This week we are starting several series looking at multiple aspects of sustainability. We will be looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy and how it might change the ways a person makes decisions and the Kubler-Ross change curve too. In this series we will work through some hypothetical examples of characters inspired by the 16 personalities identified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator* theory, just to spark some ideas of ways that we are all able to participate in the huge challenge before us.
The indicator uses four spectrums to identify key personality traits that make up the 16 personalities. The table below shows these spectrums and all of us fall somewhere on them. The model has been tested in a huge range of settings and has become a common tool for use in building teams and understanding how we can use our differences to great advantage. It should never be used as a selection tool, but has many benefits as a development tool.
I am an ENFP and have used this information about myself to understand how I can build on my skills and preferences to do my work in sustainability and climate change.
Of course, most people don’t tackle ‘climate change’ in its entirety. We deal with it in manageable bite-size chunks. The key is that we all do something to edge us in the right direction, gently nudging us towards a different future. Some will lead, some will follow. Some will quietly work behind the scenes whilst others will make a big song and dance about what they’re up to.
And every single one is just perfect. We must each do what we can in our own way, piece by piece building a new picture of who we are and how we live on our beautiful planet.
We are clever, we are diverse and unique, we are incredible as a collective and capable of great things. Remember before we had huge cranes we built great pyramids and cathedrals hauling giant chunks of stone with little more than bare hands. We created glass, built roads, learnt how to move vast quantities of water great distances. We put men on the moon and women at the bottom of the ocean. We can create people, change them physically, work with animals and nurture plants.
We are amazing and we are all ideal for creating the change we need.
Let us count the ways…
Sandra Norval is Catalicity‘s Managing Director and embraces individuality in her programmes for developing and delivering Sustainability Strategy. Her coaching model The Four Elements is designed to help people to identify their values and strengths and bring them together to find the courage to take action.
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*Please note that Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is administered in the UK by OPP and you should refer to a practitioner if you would like your type indicator assessed. We are using the model for inspiration purposes only.