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JAN
09

Resolutions: Week 1

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This was my view as I mulled over the new year and the areas on which I wanted to focus, to improve, to accomplish, or to at least spend more time on in 2016. The beach is an incredibly inspiring place for such thoughts, and I left feeling both refreshed and energized to get started. Nevermind that on the walk back to my house a bird pooped on my head--a warm, wet glob that fell from a tree and seemed to clearly indicate that the universe was rejecting the goals I'd just set, but whatever. I'm ignoring the whole incident. Because shit happens, yo.

I won't bore you with the details (some undoubtedly very pathetic) of my New Year's resolutions, but I will say that in many areas, week 1 was a complete success. I want to volunteer more and I signed up with two local San Diego charities that will hopefully give me the opportunity to do so. I want to be more social so I've lined up some events that will get me out of the house and meeting people more often. (Clarification: There's nothing wrong with being an introvert, but I'd like to make more of an effort to go to events that typically have me rationalizing that I'd much rather go home and write and spend time with my cat. Which is pretty much what I say about every social event.) I want to cook more and made potato soup from scratch like four times this week. (San Diego is in the dearth of winter right now with temps sometimes no higher than the fifties. Look what California has done to me???) I could continue in this vein, because there is more, but hopefully you get the point. Which is that I am doing things. Which is so much more powerful than trying to do things or saying you will do things or postponing things until a more convenient time.

That time is now, for all of us. So I leave you with the challenge of action as you delve more fully into the new year. Do the thing. Do all of the things. Just maybe wear a hat if any of those things involve walking on the beach.

JAN
16

Busted

Yesterday I received an anonymous note in my mailbox at work. The intrigue! It came in an interoffice envelope and was simply a print-out of this blog post from late December. If you go back and read it, it's true that I may or may not have slightly bashed corporate America and expressed frustration over the worship of all things extrovertish, but I never guessed that anyone from my office was actually paying attention. On the printed-out blog post in my mailbox was the following handwritten note: "Poor Tali. And we thought you actually liked working with us." And to the sender of this note, whoever you are, you must know that this struck me as so funny and clever that I had to chuckle to myself in sheer delight. So, thank you. Unless you are from HR and are trying to get me canned. In which case, is it too late to apologize for sounding like I hate working here? And while I'm at it, don't take it personally that I vehemently shamed our decision to send e-cards to customers last month in this post or read too much into my admission in this gem of a post that I wrote it while sitting at my desk. None of that is important. What's important is this: We are now pen pals.

DEC
31

Quiet

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I knew this would be a phenomenal book just by reading the description, and not just because I'm an introvert. But especially because I'm an introvert. An introvert who went through business school getting lackluster grades because I didn't speak up enough in class and because, despite knowing the answers, my mind went blank every time I was cold called or unexpectedly put on the spot. An introvert who now works in corporate America where I'm sick of the emphasis on group work and constant collaboration, where I see introverts routinely passed over (or let go) because they "don't fit" the leadership style (think extrovert) the company seeks, and where I frequently lie on the personality tests the company sends out for fear they wouldn't want to keep me if they knew how truly introverted I was.

Susan Cain makes the case that introverts get far less credit than they deserve, and it's not just her opinion. Au contraire. For the entire book is filled to the brim with study after study, example after example, of how the premium society places on being an uber-social go-getter (and the pressure introverts feel to fake it in order to make it) is ridiculously unwarranted. It's an opinion I've had for quite some time, as personally I've always found that my strengths as an introvert have lent themselves well to my line of work. I am, after all, in the business of building relationships. And aren't we all?

Rarely do I read a book that makes me gush, and I'll stop before I get carried away, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a must read. My only frustration is that in order for things to change in the corporate world, every CEO, hiring manager, team leader, and business school director would have to read this book. It seems an uphill battle, but this book is an excellent step in the right direction.

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