Following on from my recent post “things everyone should know about Introverts”, I thought I should probably give some advice about working and understanding people from other side of the spectrum. So here are my top three things to note about Extroverts:
1) Extroverts do their thinking as they speak
Extroverts process on the outside so they do what is called “draft speaking” – they build their ideas as they talk about them. So what an Extrovert starts with is not likely to be their final idea, or even their most thought out idea. Extroverts also struggle with silence and will often fill the perceived void by talking again. They are also very comfortable with everyone building on each other’s ideas or train of thought and have no hesitation in jumping into a conversation. A room full of Extroverts will be considerably louder than a room with the same number of Introverts for that reason. They don’t mean to butt in or to overwhelm people, they are just enthusiastic conversationalists.
2) Endless energy abounds
They are seemingly endlessly interested in people and are energised through spending time with others. This can come across as a bit nosy, pushy or just exhausting! Extroverts are genuinely interested in getting to know people and will ask lots of questions about you. While an Introvert will find it draining, they are getting energised from connecting and learning about the people around them. Something I have also observed is that Extroverts tend to be more comfortable with a smaller personal space zone, and they will touch people more often than Introverts do, which Introverts can find intrusive.
3) Life of the party
Extroverts find it easier to mingle, to meet people and to introduce themselves. While Introverts prefer quieter gatherings, Extroverts are generally of the mindset “the more, the merrier”. Extroverts are more at ease in social situations and tend to embarrass less easily than many Introverts, who tend to be more self-conscious. An Extrovert I know told me a story once about how he went to a party and after a couple of hours realised, that of all the people he had chatted to, he hadn’t seen anyone he knew. A check of the invitation revealed that he was at the wrong house, but he was having such a great time he stayed! Extroverts have an action orientation, so an Extrovert party is going to be big, loud and fun. The last to leave at the end of a social event is likely to be an Extrovert.
So, Introverts are likely to find Extroverts, and their preferences, a bit overwhelming at times and sometimes draining. The trick is to meet in the middle, to understand the differences and appreciate each other’s strengths!
Are you an Extrovert or an Introvert? Let us know in the comments below.
Rosalind Cardinal is The Leadership Alchemist and Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, an Australian consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations.
Ros is a solutions and results oriented facilitator and coach, with a career in the Human Resources and Organisational Development field spanning more than 25 years. Ros brings an energetic and proactive approach combined with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her expertise spans leadership development, organisational culture, team building, change and transition management, organisational behaviour, employee engagement and motivation, strategic direction and management.
Visit www.shapingchange.com.au to pick up your complimentary copy of Ros’ e-guide to Leading Change. Written for managers who are tasked with leading organisational change, the guide presents practical steps to leading successful change. Ros also runs the Shaping Change Inner Circle, an exclusive membership network for driven leaders around the world who are passionate about making a difference, building successful businesses and leveraging the talents and skills of their people.