Are you a stand-up chameleon?

Rosanna Machado | October 8, 2019

If I had to pick whether I am an extrovert or introvert, I’d pick extrovert. I certainly thrive in the company of others and can’t walk to the tube station without making a friend along the way! However, there are other elements of my personality that would suggest otherwise. I’m very law-abiding and rules driven, I still have a fear of throwing myself into physical sport and I do find that most work problems and proposals are better solved when I have thinking time on my own.

Whilst it is great to know your traits, we all have a bit of everything in us. The skill is in how well we can self-monitor and adapt our behaviour to the situations we are in. I loved hearing this described as being a stand-up chameleon! But how do you stay authentic and true to yourself if you are constantly adapting your behaviour?

  • Be clear on what your values are and keep these in mind when choosing your reaction to a situation. One of mine is respect and one way of showing this is using empathy to understand others and adapt so that I am mindful of their style
  • Accept people for who they are and appreciate the strengths that they bring to the relationship. I used to get annoyed that I was often the one organising social events amongst friends when in fact I love doing it and find it far less stressful than some of my more introverted friends, so why not embrace the fact that everyone contributes in different ways based on their personality and social style
  • Follow your passions – this may often mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and doing something you might ordinarily find scary such as public speaking but if you are learning and pursuing your passion, isn’t that worth it?
  • Make sure you give yourself time to recharge. I am sometimes amazed that a one-hour intense new business meeting could wipe me out for the day because I have been ‘performing’. Know yourself and what you need to recharge to stay on form.

Don’t make assumptions about yourself, others and situations – these are constantly changing depending on stress levels, fatigue, the project in hand, group dynamics. Go into situations with an open mind, be mindful of others and be prepared to be a stand-up chameleon.