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Riley Music Academy Music Cast: I’m a Mediator (INFP) – What are you?

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I’m a Mediator (INFP) – What are you?

I had a radio interview this week. I did the job but there was part of it that didn’t go so well. I was nervous and the pressure of being on air really bothered me. It got me thinking (as always)…

1. How do I get better at talking in front of people? and 2. Who on earth is good at that stuff?!

Let’s answer those questions.

1. How do I get better? Well…I always say: “if you’re new to something you will almost certainly be terrible.” The way to improve is to practice and document your results to witness the progress. For me, this is my second live interview for radio so the documentation is easy. The first was in Spain for the Marbella Jazz Festival. The interviewer, the day before, had asked saxophonist Alan Barnes*: “the saxophone is such a sexy instrument, isn’t it?” To which Alan replied: “it is when I play it!”  The following day I was asked the exact same question and my answer was “erm…(massive pause) yeah”.

At least in my second radio appearance I actually formed sentences and managed to plug what I was intending. That’s a massive improvement! Maybe next time I won’t perspire profusely and have all the words fall out of my head!

A word of advice: If you try to say something profound and smart…just shut the hell up! Trying to improvise something like that will almost certainly go wrong! That’s true of conversation or playing notes.

2. Who is good at this stuff?

I’ve been dabbling in a bit of research recently and reminded myself of the personality test based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types.  I found a website that offers this test and came out with the result of Mediator INFP.  I’m not completely convinced by research like this as it has the habit of grouping human beings into categories; this is done all the time as our brains prefer the boundaries of association and judgement.  However, it’s interesting to know what my personality traits are and I definitley agree with my result. What good does this do though?  I believe it’s advantageous to know how your brain is wired and which situations you find the most comfortable for successful progression.  In music I know that I often think of ideas on my own but I love to test them with/on(!) other people.  I know that I can formulate sentences better on paper than I can in front of strangers and I know that I prefer being a sideman on stage; creating the best sound for the band, rather than showboating for attention (there are occasions when I take over but I tend to come to my senses in the end).

While focusing on these traits I feel it important to not use them as excuses.  As I mention at the start of this blog, I want to improve my public speaking and I don’t want to use the fact that i’m an introvert as an excuse.  A lot of assumptions can be made when reading an analysis of your character.  If you allow yourself to be told what you can and can’t do then this can lead to self pity, negativity and it becomes your reality. Everyone is capable of pushing the boundaries and stepping out of their stereotype from time to time. Extroverts can be thoughtful and subtle. Introverts can be loud and adventurous.

I guess what I’m saying is that knowing my personality makes me more productive, motivated and ultimately a happier person because I choose situations that suit me.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is good for progression but is not a long term solution.  Although I envy those people who feel totally comfortable in the limelight, I will probably choose a different path. Knowing more about myself makes for better judgement, better decisions and increased happiness.

If you’d like to take the test yourself then find it here

Perhaps when you’ve done the test you can post your result below.  I read all the comments and it would be great to discuss this topic further if it interests people!

*this is the second week in a row that Alan gets a mention!

Please leave a comment…


4 Comments Add a Comment
  1. De
    February 27, 2016

    Interesting post Jay. I have taken personality tests in the past as part of recruitment and promotion processes, but was somewhat sceptical. Took the test twice giving slightly different responses to test repeatability and then successfully guessed my husband’s type before he too did the quiz. I agree that there is a benefit in understanding your traits, skills and weaknesses in order to develop, so it is insightful as well as a bit of fun. I’m a INTP btw. I had to mull it over for a while (i.e.mentally analyse the result) before i agreed that it is fairly accurate as a generalisation.

    • Jay
      February 28, 2016

      i agree with the scepticism, I never like to be lumped into a category (hey…what star sign are you?!…groan) but it makes you think about your plan of attack.

  2. Alan Musson
    February 28, 2016

    This makes for interesting reading and is certainly food for thought. For the record, I feel that you came over well on air and this is confirmed by feedback received. I didn’t realize that you are an introvert – it certainly wasn’t obvious. I’ve been doing live radio for several years now and I regularly forget my train of thought and talk complete rubbish. You comments about stepping out of your comfort zone interest me. For years I have always avoided doing this. I too hate public speaking. However, last year I was asked to do some MC’ing in front of an orchestra on a couple of live gigs. I told myself that it would be good to do something different and stretch myself. So I spent time preparing and working out what I was going to say. On the day it was reasonable but I wasn’t comfortable. Oddly, the second gig with the same people was worse and I put in a terrible performance. It didn’t help that the regular MC was a former TV continuity announcer. I don’t think I will be stepping out of my comfort zone again any time soon!

    • Jay
      February 29, 2016

      Thanks Alan. I’m undecided about the whole comfort zone thing. I think that pushing to challenge yourself is good, yet it will not feel all that comfortable. Then there’s doing stuff out of sheer determination and stubbornness which is not always very healthy. I’ll keep researching and maybe write about it if I find an answer!

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