At the Pursuit of Excellence seminar this past weekend, we did a module that helped each of us to identify our communication style (which is akin to personality type). My results shocked me. They claimed that I was a Controller. As the name suggests, it's at the dominant end of the spectrum.
A Controller!!! To me that term spans the water front, all the way from control freak to megalomaniac dictator. Yikes!!! That's not who I am! I am a nurturing, supportive person, right?
I guess my denial stemmed from the fact that I had witnessed the misuse of power. When power had been employed destructively, people whom I loved and I myself had suffered -- either because we lacked the skills to assert ourselves or because we simply had been too little to defend ourselves. Consequently I regarded power as evil.
Our Pursuit of Excellence instructor said that it was important to fulfill our driving needs and to acknowledge our personality types. She said that, if our needs went unmet and/or our personalities went unrecognized, they would leak out in destructive ways. Often they were the source of addictions and other self-defeating behaviours.
Conversely, if we fulfilled our driving needs and recognized our personality types, we could harness their energy constructively. In that case, they were gifts.
Today I told a friend about this additional Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO). She was someone who had been telling me for months that I had leadership qualities, but I had discounted her opinion. When I shared my BFO, she said, "Hallelujah!"
My friend went on to say that she thought that my continuing education was instrumental in my gaining this insight. She said that, because I had witnessed abuse and because I lacked confidence in my ability to exercise leadership for the benefit of all, my subconscious mind had protected me from the knowledge that I had leadership qualities. But my workshops have been building my capacity. She referred to the seminars I had taken -- conflict resolution, consensus decision making, and the Pursuit of Excellencer. In her opinion, my subconscious mind must have assessed my growing skill set, concluded that I would be able to handle power, and then let me see that I had it. I thought that was an interesting insight on her part.
In any event, now that I've recovered from the shock, I feel liberated.