Are you an Extrovert or Introvert? Why it matters.
What sparked this topic is the fact that people have always called me an extrovert, but I'm not.
People ping me as an extrovert because I am comfortable around others and do well in group settings. And I never really thought much about it until I came across stuff like this awesome FastCompany Article. Like its author, I thought extroverts were people who were really outgoing and enjoy going to concerts, sporting events and the like. Introverts are the shy people who are quiet at parties. While there is some truth to these stereotypes, there's a lot more under the surface. Ultimately, which bucket we fall into stems from where we get our energy i.e. how we recharge our brains. Thinking about it this way, I found that I have more introverted tendencies because I recharge from spending time alone, rather than being fueled by others.
While being one or the other doesn't define you, it can help you learn a little more about yourself and thus benefit your relationships and career.
Self-awareness = power; power to deal with things within and outside of your control including people, events and general circumstances.
Key Article Takeaways:
Introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
Extroverts gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.
If you're on the introverted side:
- Give space: We should carve out negative space between meetings to recharge our social batteries.
- Create focus: Similarly, we should sculpt the opportunities to put our heads down and dive deep into complex problems--and bring the solutions back to the team.
- Attune: As Dan Pink notes in To Sell Is Human, introverts are great at attuning to another person in a one-on-one situation, which shows that introverts can have super high social intelligence.
When you are feeling extroverted:
- Embrace the busy: The more extroverted among us crave high levels of stimulation, so let them go after it--even if it means their schedules will be packed.
- Compliment extroverts: Extroverts love being social; they love to be validated socially even more. So give 'em the praise (that would embarrass an introvert).
- Explore: As Steve Jobs argued long ago, the more experiences you've had, the more ideas you have to draw from in life, catalyzing your creativity.
Read the full article or enjoy the visual takeaways of how to deal with the two 'personality' types.