Don't let the pain of sitting interfere with the love for learning!

I was recently part of a team summit where we each took the famous Myers-Briggs quiz and analyzed the results. It came as no surprise to me and my co-workers that my 4 letters were ESFP. For those not familiar with Myers-Briggs, I highly recommend looking into it (but it is NOT the main take away of this blog).

I always knew I was an extravert (the 'E' in the ESFP). The consultant  leading the session at the summit started out by describing an Extravert. She talked about getting energized from talking to people, having to immediately run an idea by someone (instead of thinking it over in your head), then coming home and calling someone to talk more and sitting in the library for 4 hours being a torture...She then asked if there were any extraverts in the room and if what she was saying applied to them. There were about 3 out of 45 (high tech company) and I said it was all true, except after talking at work all day (I am an Agile Coach and lead a team of 9 other Agile Coaches), I have absolutely no desire to call anyone once I get home. As far as the library, 4 hours for sure is torture (made me think if all those years in k-12, then undergrad, then grad school), but I always enjoyed the library for a couple of hours here and there.

For a week now I have been thinking back on my childhood, my studies, my career and how I got to be an Agile Coach. Both of my college degrees are in Computer Science and I always liked to write, test and troubleshoot code. I enjoyed taking classes in college and didn't really mind high school either. I cannot say that I couldn't concentrate when I had to (somehow I did obtain my diplomas and was pretty successful in all the jobs I held), but I often had a hard time sitting in the room with closed doors (never would  sit in an office), or super quiet library.

Even when being a developer in the days when there were no stand ups or refining sessions and collaboration wasn't that popular, I always got up and walked over to coworkers to discuss what we were developing or fixing that day. I always enjoyed to move (and learn). I remember often wondering if I will get in trouble by socializing too much, even if it was a work related discussion. By walking over to a co-worker  developer or someone from customer support who filed a bug and was closer to the customer to know details or talking to someone in Sales about a new feature that was just checked in, I either expedited the bug fix or made someone's day by giving them good news! Benefits all around, and no, I never got in trouble for asking questions, listening or just being friendly!

If you like to learn but really don't like to sit still,  then why not get up, walk, have conversations, take your meetings outside? How about a hiking trail? Or the beach? Or ski slopes in the winter?!!! :)

There is no one way of doing it. Learn who you are and what your preference of learning is and get creative!


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