We interact with the world we live in, in our own unique ways. Some of us draw the energy we need from the outside world and others draw it from their own inner worlds. When we function in our preferred world we are usually the most productive and vice versa. The scale which helps us to understand our preferences better is the extroversion vs introversion one. I feel this is the one social conditioning scale which has led us to believe that extroversion is a positive personality type as opposed to an introverted one. In general the consensus is that extroverted people will have more opportunities in comparison to introverted ones. I think this statement is far from the actual truth and one which you may want to reconsider after this post.
On one extreme of the scale completely extroverted individuals are those who use the outer world to energize themselves. They thrive on interaction with friends, co-workers or team mates. This constant interaction enables them to experience the world and understand it. They are usually the ones who have no difficulty in talking and if you listen to what they are saying carefully you will be able to understand their emotions with greater clarity. Variety is the spice of life for them.
On the other extreme of the scale completely introverted individuals use the inner world to energize themselves. They have allocated necessary alone time to gather their thoughts and feelings and are most at ease in this situation. When they speak, a lot of it will be well planned out and thought through. They tend to keep their feelings and emotions well disguised and you will usually see them doing a lot more listening than talking. If variety is the spice of life for extroverts then depth is what does it for the introvert. If you find the topics that an introvert is passionate about then you can comfortably sit back because they will go on about it for a long time.
Being on either extreme of the scales is rare. We usually find ourselves in the middle or with slight preferences towards either side. This becomes necessary as we need to develop coping mechanisms to operate at a certain expected level. If an introvert was part of a team he would have to make his/her contribution. Now here comes the interesting part in regard to selecting the right teams , which we talked about earlier this month. I mentioned core and shared values. To expand that point, if you have a preference to extroversion and you join a group of 4 individuals with preferences to introversion, pulling your hair out will be a likely scenario. We have to make sure that when we join or create teams, a balance of both types is present.
If you were wondering about my type, it is one which has a slight preference to the introversion side. Its quite funny when a client or customer asks me and I tell them that. Since I do a lot of sales for the company they are always baffled as to how individuals with introverted preferences can be effective sales people. The answer to that question usually is, that no one type of personality can be categorized to be good at one job role as compared to others. A lot of other factors contribute to the success of a sales person than just pure extroversion. Social conditioning is largely responsible for these sort of outlooks. If there is something that I would like you to take from this post it is, don’t let society judge you on what it is that you can or cannot do. Impossible is nothing.