Diversity of Thought is What Makes Target Great

I know I know, it’s been awhile, with the transition to my new role (which I am loving) I’ve had to learn to prioritize a little better, so I slacked on the blogging.  No excuse, so don’t worry I’ll be here for you more often :)…with that, let the words begin.

On a day to day basis, all of us see the person in a meeting that talks continuously and the person that does not say much.  Do you automatically assume the person that said more is the “most” effective?….or does the quiet “thinker” chime in with the best ideas?  Which of them is demonstrating courage or the most engaged?  How about the person that chooses to eat lunch at their desk more often than go out for a bite with their peers?  While the measuring stick varies across companies, our careers will all include a series of decisions and adaptations to situations, cultures, etc….So how do you thrive regardless of whether you go out and get what you want or wait for it to come to you?

As I have talked about in previous blogs, I am a part of the Target Technology Services Circle of Champions (CoC) which seeks to foster an inclusive culture across our organization.  A couple of weeks ago, the CoC hosted an excellent Brown Bag luncheon entitled “Diversity of Thought:  Introverts and Extroverts.”  This event was standing room only as team members were eager to hear from the panel of leaders about leveraging different styles to contribute to Target’s business.

*SQUIRREL*…(From time to time I get distracted like the dog in UP so bear with me…….During the Brown Bag, I decided to stand by the door which morphed into a fulltime attendant job as you would be surprised how many people will let the door slam when walking in/out of a packed meeting.  It became a fun game of seeing how fast I could grab the door before it interrupted the meeting…all I needed was one of those Captain Crunch costumes and some white gloves, maybe people would have tipped me)…..Anyway back to the purpose of this blog…..

This event gave each of our panelists a chance to talk about some of the challenges and perceptions of being ‘quiet’ or ‘talkative’ and how it relates to their career and personal lives.  Knowing many of the attendees it was GREAT to see people that I consider to be both introverts and extroverts.  The engagement level made me appreciate our team’s desire to see how we can better work together.  The dialogue was fostered by the inclusion of a video summarization of the popular book entitled “Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, which you can purchase in paperback form on January 29th at Target.com *wink*.  This offering gave great insight into learning about successful introverts who leveraged their style to achieve their goals all the while erasing some of the stereotypes associated with ‘introverts’.

The timing of this event was very pertinent to me for two reasons as I had just conversed with a mentee about their desire to be more visible while overcoming their shyness.  They have struggled with the ability to be more outgoing and selling their contributions to leaders across the organization.  Firmly believing there is a place for all of our styles, I encouraged them to continue being themselves while understanding there is a fine balance around being effective and adapting to what is required in certain situations.  In addition, for the most part I am an extroverted person, full of energy, loving to engage those around me.  But at times I revert back to my more “quiet” side, because if you spend time watching introverts, you will notice they usually do a great job of “listening”, something I think most of us could benefit from.  So most of the time when I am quiet I am usually focusing on what is happening around me, putting together thoughts or just sleepy :).

While we all look different, act different and think different, still being able to bring ‘you’ to work and to show others how to work with ‘you’ continues to be a great reason to work at Target.


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