Personality / It is You

In this episode Melissa and JJ talk about initial reactions and personality assessments everyone makes the moment you meet someone new. JJ and Melissa talk about their first time meeting and the stories that at first might seem a little bit awkward or hard to share at first.

June 30, 2020
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Melissa Albers  00:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker. And Melissa Albert's JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  00:16
Good morning, Melissa.

Melissa Albers  00:18
Hello, JJ.

JJ Parker  00:22
We're laughing because we're, we've been riffing on one of our favorite topics around kind of personality traits. And, and yeah, like how people's brains are naturally wired. Right. And for whatever reason, we love this topic. We've been working, we've been working with personality assessments and, and and talking to people about their sort of natural wiring for a long time.

Melissa Albers  00:49
Yes, and I'll even say the long time is like decades even though I'm only 12.

JJ Parker  00:56
I really like this topic, because I feel about As soon as I started kind of learning about some of my natural personality traits, it really helped my self awareness journey. So, I, I think it's really helpful to talk about those things and, and explore because it's kind of like, I feel it's like a great place to start with self awareness. I totally agree. Yeah. And, you know, for me, you know, one of my dominant personality traits is introversion, which maybe if everyone is starting to gather is the opposite of Melissa.

Melissa Albers  01:38
If they're not, this is our we'll just put it right out there. We're totally opposite.

JJ Parker  01:45
So, so being a very introverted person and and really a very introverted quiet kid. You know, as I started, you know, doing more and more things and Go into work events with lots of people or getting invited to parties and you know, engaging in these bigger social events. I always felt super awkward, right? Like, I never liked it. I never liked it. I never like go to a big party. I never liked going to a big event. It was always pretty stressful for me. And I never knew why. Like I always thought like, Well, everyone else seems to like this party. Like, why don't I like this party? What's wrong with me? Right? There must be something wrong with me. You know, because I don't like parties. And then people say, oh, JJ, while you're, you know, you're not very social. Or you know, you're kind of like reclusive. Right?

Melissa Albers  02:44
You bring your own lampshade to parties, and it's really, really big and covers your whole face.

JJ Parker  02:48
Right? Exactly. All right, I'll just stand in the corner here and hopefully no one will see me. But I was like,

Melissa Albers  02:57
I this is are you are you saying that you Were judging yourself with something bad because you didn't like to do these. Like there's a lot of work events for example, like

JJ Parker  03:10
yeah, I mean, we're gonna work it. They were like literally parties that my own company was throwing and I still felt uncomfortable. Like, yeah, like I'm paying for this party and I still don't want to be here.

Melissa Albers  03:22
Yeah, that's interesting. Yeah, I did

JJ Parker  03:23
have a lot of like, I had a lot of kind of shame. Like I felt like I should be you know, in some of those events like it's I like the word itself for sure. It's like I should I should be the life of this party. Right? I shouldn't be this I should be super engaged in it. And I'm just not and and I would watch other people have such a good time at these things. Why? Why don't I why what's wrong with me? Right. And I felt this like, something was wrong with me. I must have some deficiency around socializing or something. Oh, I felt really guilty about it. Or maybe my guilty like that. Like ashamed, right? Yeah. Which did not help, right? Because it just made me want to look back into the corner even more. Yeah. Yeah. And that's until I, I took, you know, a personality test and I started researching personality traits, right. And Melissa said something that will stick with me forever because my first personality trait you and I did our assessment you and I did together and and and when you know it's a really simple for you know questionnaire you fill out and yeah, get this this results back and you said okay, we're gonna look at your personality traits and this is just an his thing. It's just a natural wiring there's no judgement about this. Mm hmm

Melissa Albers  04:51
yeah and that's a famous I love to say that it's not right. It's not wrong. It just is.

JJ Parker  04:56
Yeah and and then when We started talking about, like, how my dominant trait of introversion would be, you know, like shaping the way, you know, I think and the way I interact. That was really powerful because I thought, well, that's why don't like these big events, right? And it's okay. And that's okay. Right. And you actually, like, made it possible for me to be okay with that,

Melissa Albers  05:28
to get rid of the shame part of it, and of the embarrassment or the self judgment part of it and just see, see it as an is thing,

JJ Parker  05:35
right? It just is, right. So now that it just is and I can accept it. And I can change the way I interact, you know, in the world with that information, and that was really helpful.

Melissa Albers  05:47
or certainly you won't feel like you're leaking energy with a lot of shame, like you don't feel like there's something like you have to spend a lot of your energy trying to make it okay or to try and get over like if I could just get over This

JJ Parker  06:00
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So now I happily go to parties of two people where I am one of them

Melissa Albers  06:07
and you can be gone in 12 seconds.

JJ Parker  06:11
And we have an agenda.

Melissa Albers  06:15
You know what I was just thinking about though I and I don't know if I've ever told you this, but the very first time that you and I met together just the two of us, it was a right around the same time as this personality assessment stuff. And you and I, you asked me to go and meet you at a coffee shop. And, and, but you know what, it's fun. I remember when you asked me to go there. I sat down with a muffin. I brought him I bought a muffin at the coffee shop and a coffee and you were there ahead of me. And I remember feeling because I'm an extrovert. So I remember feeling like okay, I can see by his body language that he is in introvert like I could see you kind of fidgeting in your chair and it was like you were looking down, you had a pen ready to go like you can see

JJ Parker  07:07
the introversion a mile away.

Melissa Albers  07:09
Yeah, yeah. And I studied personality, so I could see it even more. But here's what's really interesting about that. I'm an extrovert. So I felt instantly responsible in that exchange, to make you feel comfortable. Like I felt like I had to bridge the gap. And so I remember saying to do you want half of this muffin, right? And we didn't even know each other. And you said, Oh, I don't need that. And I remember but here's the thing about that is that while you were busy being in your introversion and judging yourself, I was in my extraversion and judging myself, because by doing that, I felt that I had made you uncomfortable. And I felt bad about that. Like I felt like oh my gosh, I just overstepped there I am again, I always do that. Yeah. So here I was in that same process of making judgments about myself. In a completely opposite way,

JJ Parker  08:02
isn't it? Isn't that crazy? Like, how two people were in? We were both kind of in our own heads, right? Yeah. Just based on something as simple as like, our natural wiring.

Melissa Albers  08:17
Yeah. And you know, not just talking about like how we show up, like, what you're talking about is this personality trait of extraversion, right? That's measured in, in the opposite of that would be more introspective or more quiet. You know, we use the words extraversion and introversion. Sometimes I try to actually avoid those words, because they could be so much more, right. It's just on the extraversion side. It's like the social connection like feeling like you get your energy from people on the opposite of that would be a more analytical person or someone who gets more energy from tactical things or working on projects and that sort of thing. So that's one but you know, the other thing I was thinking about is there's a lot of other personal Now the traits that we have yet to talk about. And just as an example, when we were in this discussion this morning, I was thinking about like a person's speed or their pace, which is measured, you know, like in a personality trait of patience. And when you talk about having a lot of something or not having a lot of something, this patience construct is a really interesting personality trait to think about too, as it relates to self awareness, because I remember being in this business for as long as I have, I have a great girlfriend who is a high level coach, and she was building her own assessment tool, and has since built a big company actually around this tool. It's really cool. But I was taking that assessment tool and the results came back. I was one of our guinea pigs. So it was really early on. results came back that I had zero patients. Now that's actually True. Yeah, I don't have a lot of patience.

JJ Parker  10:05
It's true. We didn't even need to do an assessment. Right,

Melissa Albers  10:08
right. I remember looking at her and she had these big blue eyes, and she's from the south and just a wonderful caring person. But I was looking at her and I felt my whole body get hot, I broke out. And I was like, I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed by this. And my emotional reaction

JJ Parker  10:27
you're embarrassed by, by kind of the assertion that like, you're not patient, right? Yeah, yeah. Generally, it was like sometimes that's not your right. Like, if I say that that person is not very patient. That's not like a good

Melissa Albers  10:41
it's not a good thing. And when the assessment world, we are very much in the framework of saying what someone has, not what they don't have. So even in this topic, I would never say to somebody, you don't have any patience. What I would always say is, you have a really high sense of urgency. Yeah. But a lot of that came from because I, I felt when I, in my own head, I heard you don't have any patience, Melissa. Yeah. And I and I, the reason I got embarrassed about it was, while I don't have a lot of patience at all for things like processes and a lot of details I'm not interested in I could not care less like, I just want to get them done. But when it comes to people, I have a lot of patience. I was worrying inside with this like, Oh my gosh, like how do I show up? What a jerk?

JJ Parker  11:34
Yeah, like you don't, you don't want. You don't want other people to think like, you don't have time for them. Right? Or you want to move on to the next thing? Because that's not that's not what your true intention is. Exactly. It's just kind of how you're wired. Maybe makes you come across that way sometimes.

Melissa Albers  11:51
Yeah. Yeah. So so it is interesting, like when we talk about self awareness and as it relates to personality traits, I don't really feel as though personality traits will not solely get you to self awareness at all. Like, no, I agree. You know, like, for example, you could compare a highly extroverted person, like I mean a real talker, okay? You could compare somebody who was a real talker in meetings, okay. And if you had somebody who talked and talked and talked and talk, and they had no self awareness that they were doing it, and they were not picking up the social cues of other people around them to stop talking. Right? You could take someone like that, versus someone who had that same trait, a real real real talker that has a lot of self awareness. Yeah. And they would not exhibit in the same way, you know, there they'd be much more inclined to choose wisely when they were going to talk about Even if it was killing them, and they wanted to talk all the time.

JJ Parker  13:02
Mm hmm. So it isn't like, like we said earlier, per i think personality, understanding your own personality and your own natural wirings is a great is a good versus a really nice first step. Yeah. awareness, right. Because a lot of them, you can see really easily, you know, when you interact with other people pretty quickly as soon as you start looking for those little cues, right.

Melissa Albers  13:28
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

JJ Parker  13:30
And when you start looking within yourself, like for me, it was not an external thing. You know, it really started as an internal Why do I feel bad in these particular situations?

Melissa Albers  13:42
Right. And and it's funny because exactly like you're saying is like, a personality trait. personality traits of people are much easier to spot than how self aware they are. It's true in a work setting like so as a coach, I can go into a room I still do this, right? Like, I Wade gingerly into the water when I'm first working with someone new. Because if I'm going to be their coach, and I know whatever, like whatever title there is, like, let's say they're the, let's say they're the business owner or they're the CEO of a bigger company or whatever, okay? You can make certain assessments about what you think they're going to be like, based on their position at work based on how they walk into a PTA meeting, how they come to a family reunion, I mean, you can make certain assessments about body language and how someone shows up. However, if you have somebody who is like, for example, somebody who has a high level of assertiveness in their personality, okay. But you still can't necessarily tell how self aware they are. Right? And so I might say something, you know, like, I might just have a general discussion with somebody at first try to see if they have an awareness what they're learning have emotional intelligence or self awareness actually is and you know somebody can come off just very blunt and just call it like it is and, and not really care if you like what they're saying or not. And then you might say to them, well, do you know that you kind of come off like this? A highly self aware personnel go? Yeah, of course they do. Yeah, of course they do. Yeah. But that's just the way it is. That's how it has to be.

JJ Parker  15:26
And that's how I like it.

Melissa Albers  15:27
And that's how I like it. And then but then somebody who is not highly self aware that has that same level of authority may have people walking around them, hiding from them, not feeling safe around them, and they don't even know it. Yeah, they don't even know it. They think that it's be that it's just fine.

JJ Parker  15:48
Yeah, so do you find Do you find like in in your in your coaching work that I'm working with people on some of this natural wiring stuff, man kind of helping them navigate is a good is like a good foray into self awareness. I do sometimes like use that as an on ramp on ramp to learn.

Melissa Albers  16:13
Yeah and and it's so funny because a lot of the times I feel like this pressure because I'm in a business environment I feel this pressure to I used to actually I don't anymore. I used to feel this pressure to just keep it business related. Just keep it related to the office related to your behavior at your workplace, and that sort of thing. But now I am a much I'm much more aware of the fact that we are whole people. Mm hmm. We are we are who we are. And so the questions that I asked people now I don't care if you are a stay at home working person if you are a parent that has the Inside work of the household as your job, whether you have a big corporate job, whether you work in a little startup, I don't, I don't really care what you're doing on the outside, that That, to me is not nearly as important as the feelings that you have on the inside. Like, are you in alignment? Do you feel really content with what you are doing? Do you feel really content with how you are interacting with people, how you respond to people? How do your actions and your words match what your feelings are? Because that's really where the gap is. The personality traits I think, just make it more obvious and bigger out there for all of us to be able to recognize, yeah, yet these deep feelings that we have inside of us, these are the things that really drive our level of contentedness satisfaction. have,

JJ Parker  18:00
you know, it's, it's interesting? It'll be it'd be interesting to hear other people's stories around this topic I'd love for people to share, like on the Facebook page, how they've seen their personality traits come out in different ways, and how that's made them feel and how they've kind of dealt with that and maybe change their perspective. Yeah. knowing their personality traits, like on their own self awareness journey. So that would be that was awesome.

Melissa Albers  18:34
Yeah, you know, I and then just just as you said that it even reminded me like, when you and I had our first business together, I don't know how long ago that was six or seven years ago. Now, when we first started the conversations about that new business. It was a cool business concept of everybody could get some coaching. Instead of just the people in the business that could afford it. It was like let's give coaching to everybody and which Everyone's voting for everyone and we loved it. But, but I remember using the story a lot of how, in my house, I was raised by a mom who was very much a an artist and an introvert and someone who didn't push the envelope about things. And then my personality was just like, an explosive, like, boom, let's go, you know, just out there, you know, loud and proud and, and risk taking. And I mean, that must have been super hard for my mother to deal with that. And I remember as I became an a, you know, a teenager and then an early adult. My mom and I used to get in some serious arguments, right, and I'm sure she just did not know how to control this person who was so much bigger in personality than she was. And so as a result, she used to try to use guilt and use these different tactics and techniques, so that I wouldn't be as assertive. And I, she was doing it very well intentioned, I don't. So this is not a hit on her right. But what happened is as a result when I was in my younger days, and I was starting in the workforce trying to get jobs and then being in jobs is like, I had a very high level of assertiveness, and because that had been so pushed down at my house, I would almost push it out more, I would like be more that way. And then I would suffer the consequences of that in interacting with people. And I would, in the end, when I say that suffer the consequences. Sometimes people would be taken aback by my strong nature, but oftentimes, if not always, I felt shame about my strong nature.

JJ Parker  20:51

Melissa Albers  20:52
right. And so as I developed over time, you and I started working together and I really think a lot Lot of my awareness about myself came through more and more as you and I talked more about this and as we developed more and more things as and then I got into coaching and saw other people's experiences with it. And, and just as I developed I got way more comfortable with that level of assertiveness. And now I'm so grateful that I have that. I'm so grateful that I have that level of risk. And that I can be with people and I can use that assertiveness to help other people. So they're

JJ Parker  21:33
offering muffins to everybody.

Melissa Albers  21:37
But just the mini muffins, not so great big ones like that moment.

JJ Parker  21:47
You know, working with you with you and I and and that company. It was awesome because we have such an our team was so mixed. All right. Yes. You know, insensitive. We were in, you know, the business of personalities, traits and coaching. It was such a wonderful team to work in, because we are all working on it together personally, as we were developing a product that would help others, you know, participate. So, you know,

Melissa Albers  22:22
it was really fun

JJ Parker  22:24
self awareness on steroids

Melissa Albers  22:27
because it was not unusual for one of us to come in the office. And the whiteboard had two sides. Remember that and it would spin you know,

JJ Parker  22:37
like, now I got something else to share.

Melissa Albers  22:44
We'd have multiple color markers and arrows and circles and we'd all be gathered around that just like it was a campfire in the middle of a bullet hole inter day. Oh, anyway, To be continued. But yeah, I so I, you know, my hypothesis about this is that personality traits are an excellent way for, for us to study ourselves. And to begin the conversation about self awareness. I think it's an excellent, excellent on ramp. Yeah. And it's a, it's a really good way for us to be able to knowing someone's personality traits to help understand their self awareness as well. Just in in working with people too. So that's kind of my hypothesis.

JJ Parker  23:38
Yeah, I would just encourage everybody like, like, take a personality test. It's fun and insightful. Yeah. And don't judge it. It just is, like, just accept it. It is you they're there in in mind, and I think pretty much everyone else's experiences that they're pretty accurate. When I read mine, it was looking in the mirror. How did this survey of 50 questions turn into this perfect description of me?

Melissa Albers  24:12
There is a and just to point people towards a couple of different options for them, because that's such a good suggestion is to have people do assessments. There's a disc a DI, C, or sorry, di sc. That's one assessment. There's also a Myers Briggs.

JJ Parker  24:31
Myers Briggs. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  24:32
yeah, both of those. I mean, there's over 1500 assessments on the marketplace, and a lot of times people will charge you for, but in both of those cases, you can find a variety of those online for free. And then also, we recently posted a blog posting called the Big Five personality traits, which is how all personality traits testing began back in the 30s.

JJ Parker  24:54
Now this is like the the base research of the general Reach out.

Melissa Albers  25:00
Yeah, the whole body of work and so that I recently posted a blog post on that. And there is a link to a really good article about that in that blog, and there's probably some testing that's in there as well. So just if people are interested, it is a fun thing to check out.

JJ Parker  25:20
Yeah, it's a great resource. So go forth. Get out of your comfort zone.

Melissa Albers  25:36
again soon

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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