I watched Willy Wonka again today for the 50th time. My son loves the Johnny Depp film but personally I fall into the Gene Wilder camp. As we sat there with our cauldron of toffee popcorn we got chatting about the reasons why Mr Wonka chooses Charlie Bucket to take over his chocolate emporium. I must admit to being quite impressed as he analysed each of the golden ticket winners in turn. A future career as a psychologist is on the cards I think.
Our chat got me thinking about a discussion that our delegates had on an Assertiveness course which we delivered recently. We were discussing the skills and qualities of introverts and extroverts. Many of the introverts in the room said that they sometimes felt intimidated by the extrovert characters. Some said that they were even jealous of how extroverts behaved. One person in particular said that she felt her career had become stagnant and she put this down to not being able to shout loud enough. She had a voice but felt it wasn’t being heard. My challenge on this course was to change the mind-sets of the delegates. I wanted them to embrace the skills and qualities that being an introvert can bring.
In my opinion, Charlie Bucket ticks all of the boxes of an introvert. He doesn’t hog the limelight; he comes across as quite passive and maybe even a little shy. He generally only speaks when he is spoken to. In the film he’s surrounded by extroverts and not very nice ones at that. They constantly want to hog the limelight – in fact many are bordering on being rude and aggressive in their quest to be heard by Mr Wonka. Yet in the end it’s mild mannered Charlie who wins. In the film however, Charlie doesn’t change his mannerisms, nor try to match the extroverts; he remains true to his values and his personal characteristics. In the end of course, it’s Charlie who has the loudest voice.
Disclaimer – the extrovert description above refers specifically to the extroverts in the film and not extroverts in general!
Are you an introvert? If so, don’t beat yourself up about it. You have the same skills and qualities of an extrovert, it’s just that you display them in a different way. The most important thing to remember is that you remain you.
Right, I’m off to Google the rather scrumdidilyumptious 3 course meal in a piece of chewing gum. Surely Mr Wonka has managed to get this to market after 43 years?
Do you need a hand raising the confidence levels of any of your team members so you can ensure they have a voice? Why not get in touch with Mike on 07825 301660 or click here for our full contact details.