One week done

I’ve been at the new job about a week now. This whole week and part of next week has been nothing but leadership training. It’s been a good experience, surprisingly. They seem genuinely committed to providing a supportive framework for their managers. Most people in the class have already been in their stores for a few weeks, so I’m the newbie out of everyone.

Last week we all had to take a personality assessment, called the DISC personality test. It measures you into one (or two, in cases) in terms of your behavior towards others and things that you do every day. It breaks it down into four major personality traits, although you will have bleed over into at least one other section if not all 3 to even a small degree. The categories are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

When we started I would have sworn that I’d be in the Dominance group, but I ended up in the Steadiness group. The dominance is exactly with you think – direct, analytical, calm, diplomatic, etc. The steadiness, on the other hand, is almost the direct opposite – tactful, inspirational, cautious, independent, measured, etc. Steady, stable, predictable, even-tempered, friendly, sympathetic.

Turns out once I really read the report, I have to agree. I wonder how much my own experience with mental illness has really affected this. Probably at least some, more likely a lot.

One of the other things we had to do was an emotional intelligence test. Here’s where things get interesting.

I scored really high on the self-awareness part. But if you think about it, this is what I’ve been working on in therapy for years. Having bipolar disorder, I have to be totally tuned into my mood and emotions to monitor them and make the determination “is this a normal reaction to this situation?” or “is what I’m feeling extreme?” or even “am I spinning off of the rails?”

I guess it’s no surprise that I scored high there. When I was younger, we spent a lot of time on identify emotions, triggers, situations, etc. that can be an indicator that I’m moving into an episode. Hell, all of the things about self worth and self esteem with Sean has a component on this. In this case it’s more about thought than emotion – is this normal? is this positive? is this true?

I almost volunteered that this is something a lot of people work on in therapy, but I didn’t want to out myself.

Despite being very open about my diagnosis, I’ve decided that I really don’t want this to get out at this job. I feel like if my employees knew it would undermine me and my authority. Cause them to look at me differently or not take me seriously. It’s been a hard decision to make, but I feel like at least right now, it is the correct one.

It will be hard. I try to be open and almost be an ambassador for my diagnosis. Prove that the stereotypes aren’t true. That we are more than our diagnosis.

I hate being in this position. Can anyone else relate?

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