Tag Archives: me

My green card biography

On the first night of my three day weekend in Yosemite last month our group of nine or so dug out the always popular game Apples to Apples. I’ve been playing Apples to Apples for several years, on camping trips, with friends, over the holidays. I’m close to saying I’ve played enough of this game for one lifetime.

But everyone was enthusiastic about playing so I agreed to join in. It was a big group so at first we decided we would play until someone won three green cards. Time passed quickly so we extended the game to eight green cards. The group played at high speed, meaning they’d throw down red cards quickly each round and expected the person calling the green card to pick a winner expediently. This made it a little more exciting.

After a few rounds someone brought up the theory that the green cards you collect through winning rounds represent an accurate description of you. I actually had never heard this theory so I took a look at the two cards I had won so far, entertaining and flamboyant. While I’ve never considered myself particularly flamboyant I recognize the word can be interpreted in different ways, so I don’t think it’s an all together inaccurate way to describe me. I looked around the table and saw people that had collected words like hostile, expensive, unusual, responsible, cuddly and shiny. Some were funny, but most were accurate in one way or another and no one was denying it, even the guy who collected obnoxious, offensive and bogus.

As the game went on, my luck continued and I remained competitive, collecting a handful of wins. As the rounds progressed, my collection of cards delivered words and phrases that the group all agreed represented me well, although they also joked my cards were almost unfairly positive.

In the end, I won the game with the brains & brawn card.

derek described by his seven winning green cards

practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact

I recently took the popular (and maybe slightly overdone) Myers Briggs personality test during an all-day learning and development course at work. We examined our personality types, and then did a series of exercises to learn about how personalities can affect and influence the workplace, like how personalty differences affect the way people communicate.

It was an interesting and slightly fluffy day… work of a different kind.. on myself rather than for someone else. It was a much needed break from the desk-meeting-conference-call grind I’d been on. I learned a lot about myself and have spent the last few days reflecting on my personality discoveries.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (BMTI) classified me as an ESTJ, defined by the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as a Supervisor. Supervisors are civic-minded individuals who dedicate themselves to maintaining the institutions behind a smooth-running society.

I’m not going to go into each of my different personality preferences (E, S, T, J) or debate whether I think the Supervisor definition is accurate. But I will share a little about the realization I made while analyzing my results.

Colin Powell, a fellow ESTJer.

As part of our personality test result, we were shown a sliding scale between the pairs of personality preferences. E vs. I, T vs. F, you know? To what degree do you prefer extroversion to introversion or thinking over feeling? slight preference? moderate preference? very clear preference? the course instructor told us that most people have slight to moderate preferences. I looked down at my results and realized that all four of my personality types were very clear preferences. I brought it up to the instructor and she said while it’s not necessarily common to be that extreme in personality preferences, it’s not all together uncommon either. (That kind of makes sense.)

I found this kind of alarming…

…that my personality appeared on paper, as inflexible… to the extreme.

This realization comes appropriately timed, as I’m exploring every bit about me, and as I’m challenging myself to different ways of life, like embracing solitude as opposed to constant companionship. Seeing how far I am from having any sort of introversion preferences reminds me that my desire to be around someone, all the time, is engrained pretty deep somewhere in my psyche. It doesn’t mean I can’t change. It doesn’t necessarily mean I should change either but it encourages me to continue exploring the other ends of the personality spectrums.

This realization also provides great validation that I’m on the right track… and that I should continue exploring. Throw facts out the window once and a while, and go with my gut. Go on a weekend getaway and don’t plan a thing in advance.

Push my own personality buttons a little and figure out who I really am.