Are we extroverts? Aspects of Personality Day conference report

More than 145 NWR members (and a few non-members) from across the UK gathered at Chafyn Grove School Salisbury on October 25th to consider various aspects of ‘who we are’.

Like all good days out coffee was served on arrival, which was welcome as many had driven long distances to reach Salisbury!

At this lively event entitled Aspects of Personality, Liz Page, a local HR Consultant and Life Coach, started proceedings with a discussion of psychometric profiling, its history and its usefulness. All attendees were provided with an information pack including the famous Myers Briggs Personality Test.

Jane Cheshire, a psychotherapist from Bath, then used literary characters to take a look at how past and present life events may affect our personalities in her talk, Personality and its Discontents –  “Lord we know what we are, but we know not what we may be”: Hamlet Act IV Sc 5. This was quite an academic presentation in the form of a straightforward lecture which pleased some and though others found harder to follow.  At least it aroused comment!

After lively conversation and mingling over a delicious lunch with a glass of wine, the keynote speaker was Elaine Fox. Elaine is a research professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and Director of The Oxford Centre for Emotion and Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN). Author of the book Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, she enthralled her audience with her presentation on Optimism and Pessimism. When spoke about the fact that, even as we age, our brains are actually more malleable than previously thought.

After tea and delicious cakes, Liz concluded the day with a brief look at Extroversion v Introversion. She used a short video presentation by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, to show how the right environment may be created for both personality types to flourish.

There was plenty of food for thought and ideas for future programme planning for members to take away at the end of the day, as well as the books mentioned above for sale from Waterstones. Elaine very kindly stayed on to sign copies of her book supplied by the Salisbury branch of Waterstones, which to her delight sold out!

All in all, this day was pronounced well worth the hard work that went into the organisation. It’s always lovely to have a crowd of enthusiastic NWR ladies all in one place.

A thought to leave with you: Could it be that NWR members are, on the whole extroverts and, if that is the case, do the introverts amongst us feel swamped or able to voice opinions at meetings?