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Monday, June 23, 2014

My Grade (So Far): Versatility

versatility: capability or adaptability to turn easily from one to another in various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.

Based on that definition, how would you grade yourself so far for versatility? Like many extroverts, my default mode when it comes to tasks and endeavors has often been pursuing breadth vs. depth. Until I was about 40, that personality trait could sometimes make it difficult to identify when I'd crossed the line from versatile to dilettante.

Still, after a steady twenty five years dialing down my extrovert while simultaneously focusing my passions, I'm comfortable giving myself a "B" (so far) for versatility - room to grow but clearly an attribute that has improved based on the steps I've taken.

I'm especially curious to hear from anyone who would call themselves an introvert. How does that personality trait - which usually moves people to prefer depth over breadth - affect how you perceive your versatility? Oh, OK extroverts I want to hear from you as well - as if you needed further encouragement.


  1. I'm still mulling this I've never thought to correlate introvert/extrovert with versatility. Most folks who know me, even those who know me well, have a difficult time deciding if I tend more toward introvert or extrovert. But this post is about versatility. And perhaps I am just having a slow day, but this is giving me pause as well. While I can move quickly from one task to another and appreciate the adventure in doing so, I am also prone to give 100% to everything I do. So I can and do wear many proverbial hats, but each one is pulled on and tied. Perhaps perfectionism is my obstacle to versatility. I am living an example at the moment. My youngest daughter will be headed for kindergarten in the Fall. While I am looking forward to the change of life, getting back into teaching more fully, I hesitate to take a full time teaching job because I know that when I need to stay home with my own sick children, for example, calling out of work will be too difficult for me. So while I can switch those gears, my inability to be fully present to both important endeavors is unacceptable for my brain. Versatile? I think so. but the grade remains a mystery. d.

    1. d; I'm still mulling over a couple of things about this insightful comment: 1.) I know 4:19 a.m.is really 7:19 a.m. (because this blog site is on PST) but that's still an impressive time of day for someone with a plate a full as yours to be reading; 2.) The introvert/extrovert piece of versatility is a rich area to explore, especially if you're at all familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI for short), a really easy-to-use but valuable personality tool. I used it quite a bit in my last full time position and would enjoy speaking further with you about it. In the meanwhile, you can easily learn a little bit by looking for the Center for Application of Psychological Type (CAPT) website, that is when you have a spare minute! I've written one post about the MBTI, which I'll also forward to you (along w/the Irving post) as soon as we exchange e-mails. Thanks so much for reading - I'm really humbled by the attention you're giving my writing.