On Friday September 15th, I attended the first Agile Coaching Summit. I already told my wife, co-workers, and friends how exhausted I would be from that weekend. Many thought my exhaustion would stem from staying out late and doing lots of activities. I was exhausted because I am an introvert.
As an introvert, I spend energy being near people, whereas extroverts gain energy instead.
A good friend, Chris Murman, said that he came to this open space to recharge. I can appreciate the idea of it, but I knew I would experience the opposite.
I don’t know how many fellow coaches are introverts compared to extroverts. I will say that our profession demands some practice at certain extroverted qualities. We have to get in the spotlight, create meaningful relationships, and navigate personal dynamics. Extroverts have a leg up in that they enjoy the interaction, but I bleed during it.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love what I do. Rather that I understand the impact it has on me. This is what allowed me to attend the open space.
I need time between rich interactions. I prefer to be alone after being in a group. I have to push through fatigue and discomfort so that I can be near the people I respect.
An open space takes a form created by its attendees, and hopes to dive into many topics to various levels of depth. A 50 minute session can feel like a workout.
I have to choose when and how I interact. In fact, on Saturday I went home as soon as the day was over. It exhausted me. I was also a little hung over, which didn’t help. I made a choice that getting rested for the next day was more important than being near my friends.
I suspect that if you are working on a software team you are working near a good number of introverts. If they are like me, they may crave deep interaction with people, but need space between.
Want to know the essentials for starting and growing your career? I wrote a free email series to help.