Developing an understanding of different personalities: A crucial management skill

 One thing you learn when you recruit a LOT is how to quickly assess some different personality characteristics. As a natural extrovert, I’ve always been intimidated by those you don’t “wear their heart on their sleeve”, even though I have recruited some wonderful introverted leaders. It was one of my biggest hesitations when I changed recruiting to group based – that I would unfairly eliminate introverted leaders.

The thing is: introverted leaders don’t want the attention on them. That makes them ideal for being a leader. They’re all about encouraging the students to be the centre of the learning.

One of the things I often say to leaders is how tempting, how exhilarating, how it feels SO GOOD to be up on the board showing people how to do stuff. It makes you feel so awesome! But it’s not what we want. One of the leaders summarised it well in his session report helping students with logarithmic issues in chemistry kinetics:

A: I got some solid practise in sitting tight when people were really struggling to make progress and prompting/reassuring them without just instructing them in what to do, which is probably useful although extraordinarily difficult.




About Georgina Barratt-See

Georgina manages the UTS U:PASS (UTS Peer Assisted Study Success) program, which assists students in 50 first and second year subjects with study sessions run by trained student facilitators. Georgina has 14 years experience in the Higher Education sector with interests in student leadership, mentoring, first year experience, teaching and learning.

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