I’ve recently read, You’re Not Too Much by Leela Sinha
She writes of a model of personality that, to me, recognizes and brings together elements from other models to show a whole continuum I find very valuable every day in interacting with other people, both with finding those who resonate with me and knowing what is going on when we don’t.
Yesterday, I received instructions on how to approach some homework in a spiritual business class. We were told to take our time, digest and not rush through it just to get it done. While I can appreciate the idea that someone might get the information better more slowly, that is not so true for me.
In Leela’s model, I am Intensive. The instructions to go slowly work well for someone who is more Expansive. You can find a graphic showing the differences here:
So, I wrote the teacher to offer the Intensive perspective on the instruction to take a few days to do the homework.
Here is what I said:
For me, and probably for most Intensives, if we did it that way, it would be painful and might never get done. We operate at a different speed, or pacing, than Expansives. The information actually does get digested quicker, and yes, there will be trickles to come, but the initial stage is fast.
There is another model that is more specific that includes factors such as Pacing (Jim Carey’s fast vs. Rodney Dangerfield’s slow) and Process (the order in which we take in information – for me, Think-Feel-Act – thinking & words come quickly, I hang out in feelings.
For others, probably yourself, Feel-Think-Act where Feelings are quick and easy, one hangs out in Thinking & words come more slowly (hence, the need to take more time with homework).
This model comes from Larry Byram at Alignment Technologies. The text there is dense. The graphics are very helpful.
Intensives, as Leela Sinha writes in her book, You’re Not Too Much, being maybe only 20 or 30% of the population, are our own minority, we tend to be marginalized.
Expansives value doing things bit-by-bit and our working world is set up to reward that in certain ways (stay 30 years at a job and get your retirement money).
Yes, Intensives get rewarded, too, but not in the day-to-day maintenance. We are valued at the faster paced or the edgy innovative beginning of a thing. After it gets going, we need someone with the Expansive skills to keep the thing going.
I considered not writing. They don’t really need all of my personal models, my understandings of myself or my information. They do just fine without it!
At the same time, the teacher of that class and his business organization are Expansive, slower Paced, and Feel-Think-Act oriented.
I was lucky to have these models on my own and able after a few months to see what was happening and stick around anyway to receive the value that is most certainly there – even if I don’t “fit in” to the Expansive business culture.
I offered this in case it might be helpful at times when we see this happening in your own world – family, business associates, friends, even on the evening news or social media. For me, it helps me to value those who are different. I know that’s something that he and his business do value.
I hope that this rings a bell with some of you. I hope it points to a useful truth.