This is the final post in a series about Extroverts and Introverts. If you haven’t read the previous posts, make sure you go back and do so.
Hopefully by now you are getting a clearer grasp of what it means to be an Introvert or an Extrovert and which one might be your natural tendency. Some of you reading may still be on the fence, and that’s okay. We recommend “trying on” each preference for a while and seeing which feels most natural.
But understanding yourself is one thing. Leveraging that knowledge to lead yourself in making better choices and becoming the best person, spouse, and leader you can be is quite another.
That’s why we’ve drawn up a few leadership insights for each of the preferences. They are intended as guidelines, suggestions for growth, and guardrails that Extroverts and Introverts alike will find helpful in applying to their daily life. Whether you’re an Extrovert and want to know yourself better, or you’re an Introvert who wants to understand the other half of the world that doesn’t think or recharge the same way, these insights will help you apply this knowledge to the relationships and challenges in your everyday world.
Leadership Insights: Extroverts
1. Learn to be fully present and truly listen to the opinions of Introverts before attempting to respond.
Most Extroverts never give the Introvert a chance to share their whole sentence before they jump in and try to finish it for them. So an important learning opportunity is to work on how to listen and stay present in listening.
2. Watch how much you talk for in any conversation.
Finishing an Introvert’s sentence never goes down well! Plus, it’s easy for an Extrovert’s enthusiasm for conversation to dominate an Introverts more reserved attempts to get a word in.
3. Beware of the Boomerang Effect
A lot of Extroverts will often, consciously or subconsciously, try to bring whatever anyone else is saying back around to being about them. Try to detect it in your conversations. Next time you’re talking, listen to yourself and see if you find yourself falling into consistent patterns of saying “that reminds me about me.” This isn’t by nature a bad thing, it’s often an Extroverts way of trying to engage with what’s being said. But too much of this can come off as arrogant while also serving to silence the Introverts.
4. Silence is Okay, the Introverts have heard you!
A big challenge for you as an Extrovert will be learning to believe and trust that silence is okay. We promise, the Introverts have definitely heard you. Don’t assume because there’s silence that somebody is ignoring you or hasn’t heard you. Many Extroverts will repeat the question more slowly assuming the Introvert hasn’t understood since they haven’t managed to respond immediately to what the Extrovert said. But sometimes people need time to think and want to do so before giving their opinion.
5. Don’t stack your questions, give time for a considered reply.
Don’t stack your questions, Extroverts! It’s a guarantee that every Introvert has been bombarded with “Well, what about this? What about that?” You have to give your Introverts a chance to answer the question you asked before moving on to a follow-up question.
6. Learn to appreciate Introverts, you don’t see what they’re best at.
Because Introverts by nature are not as cavalier with their ideas, skills, and knowledge, Extroverts often overlook what they are best at. The truth is we often overestimate the capability of Extroverts because they readily show you what they love most and what they’re best at. But we almost always underestimate the capacity of Introverts because they tend to keep what they’re best at for the internal world.
7. Create opportunities that allow your Introverts to use their right hand.
Because they keep what they’re best at for their internal world, and rarely feel compelled to volunteer their opinions and skills before ready, then do your best to create opportunities that allow them to use their dominant preference. This might include giving them time to go away and think about their response to a question or task instead of demanding one on the spot.
Extrovert Leadership Challenge
If you are an Extrovert, we encourage you to choose two of the leadership insights listed above as your most pressing learning opportunities. Write them down. Think about them. And make a plan for how you can begin to apply them to the reality of your life and leadership challenges.
If you are an Introvert by preference, hopefully you’re getting an insight into the complex world of those who struggle with tendencies opposite your own.
Leadership Insights: Introverts
- Over communicate with your team! It may be real and loud inside your head but that doesn’t mean others have truly heard it.
- Learn to share your ideas out loud even if they are not perfect.
- Learn to project your enthusiasm and energy into the external world. Body language and tone of voice communicate more than words.
- To really hear what an Extrovert thinks you will have to let them speak for longer than you would wish!
- Don’t judge an Extrovert for thinking out loud; help them learn discretion and discipline.
- Take time each day to recharge your battery, it will actually increase your productivity.
- Giving yourself constantly to others will eventually diminish your capacity to help them.
Introverts need time to recharge. If you just keep giving to people, you eventually run out of energy for them.
Introvert Leadership Challenge
If you are an Introvert, I encourage you to choose two of the leadership insights listed above as your most pressing learning opportunities. Write them down. Think about them. And make a plan for how you can begin to apply them to the reality of your life and leadership challenges.
If you are an Extrovert by preference, hopefully you’re getting an insight into the complex world of those who struggle with tendencies opposite your own.
Wrapping up Introvert vs. Extrovert
And that’s a wrap for Part I of our Leadership & the Power of Self-Awareness series. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the inner workings of Introverts and Extroverts and are better equipped to understand both yourself and others on a deeper level.
We would love for you to continue your leadership journey with us as we dive into our next segment on how different types understand and process information. Part II of this series will cover Sensing vs. Intuition – delving into the strengths, weaknesses, and key markers of each tendency as well as how to figure out which one might be your natural preference. And as always, we’ll give you some key leadership takeaways to help you apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life and leadership challenges.
This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!