Have you done the Meyer-Briggs personality test? It provides us with an idea of how much of our temperament is extroverted and how much is introverted. Each spectrum of data has outliers; however, most people fall somewhere in the middle. Given this idea, we all have a piece of introversion and extroversion within us. The amount of time we need to spend with people to recharge or in solitude will also vary significantly from person to person. In a virtual meeting and group dynamic, a few traits of both extroverted and introverted individuals come to play. Before understanding that we can utilize this yin-yang, masculine-feminine, forward-moving -reflective energy in a productive manner, we likely are overcompensating for another team member in meetings and social settings without realizing it. Often this is referred to as rescuer syndrome. We want to save others from embarrassment or insecurity, so we overcompensate for what we perceive as their weakness. In meetings, the extrovert will fill the silence almost immediately if they sense that the introvert on the team isn’t speaking up. The introvert will stay quieter as to overcompensate for the continuous talk of the other team members. This divide will become more significant, and the right ideas or valuable contributions of both types will get diluted either by not voicing it or giving too many to fill the awkward silence. As neuroscience proved time and again, we cannot all of a sudden, fundamentally change who we are. We are born either introverted or extroverted (with some exceptions for ambiverts). We can tap into our polarities to grow and become more of our holistic selves. It’s a mental shift, and we don’t become more introverted or extroverted, we tap into that existing side of ourselves. Our comfort zones are where we feel most at ease, for introverts, it will be books, small group settings or intense discussions with a focused topic. Extroverts are most at ease with multiple issues and likely want the radio on while they watch a video on how to cook for a group of 50 people. How we communicate is essential to our overall wellbeing. Introverts, for the most part, live in their heads. To express their ideas in a group or work setting, writing thoughts down to articulate them is invaluable. Speaking off the cuff isn’t likely going to bring the same value. Allow the most introverted to prepare for the meeting, in writing and read it to the group. As the extroverts actively listen, they are tapping into their introspective sides while non-judgementally giving space to the introvert to utilize their extroverted side. Internal balance is found when we know what works for us and being flexible in our comfort zones to grow. Journaling Challenge: How have you utilized your non-dominant side recently? Be sure to sign up for our digital journaling platform for insightful journaling prompts.
For our full video on Linkedin click here: Introverts at Work.