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13 Apr 2015

Powerful Introverts and Extroverts and Their Effect on People

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Introverts and Extroverts

How powerful introverts and extroverts will impact us will vary with each of us.

Powerful introverts and extroverts affect us differently. This can bias a talent assessment.

How can we tell if we are in the presence of powerful introverts and extroverts? Moreover, what can we expect from them when we are?

Powerful Introverts and Extroverts

First, when we run into powerful introverts and extroverts, it means that those traits are exerting themselves very strongly. It is key to know where their energy is directed on us.

With powerful introverts, we will be inclined to adopt their views. Since their energy comes from inside, looking at the world in the right way is key. Our attitude tells all. How we see things is vital to them.

With powerful extroverts we will be inclined to adopt their behaviors. Since they get their energy from the outside world, making the world in the right way is key for them. Actions tell all. What we do is vital to them.

Symptoms of Their Power

The effects of powerful introverts and extroverts will show up as thoughts and feelings. To what degree each shows will vary for each of us.

With powerful introverts we will think they are trying to change our minds. We will feel they are pulling us into their worlds. Their talk will center on attitude, ideas, thoughts and emotions.

With powerful extroverts we will think they are trying to get us to change our habits. We will feel that they are pushing their worlds on us. Their talk will center on activities, plans, processes and results.

Personality not Talent

How powerful introverts and extroverts impact us will vary with each of us. This means that it will be easy to see personality differences as talent deficiencies.

For instance, people tend to see those like them as the best qualified for a job. Conversely, they often see those most different as least qualified. Thus, it helps to learn how we think and feel in the presence of different people. In this way, we can learn to overcome biases that hurt us and our firms.

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2 Responses

  1. The thought occurred to me about two co-leaders – one an introvert and the other an extrovert. I reminded myself about your thoughts in a previous post about introverts and extroverts working together. I’m thinking that my main takes from the previous post (no one is pure one or the other; and they must keep tendencies in mind as they cooperate) apply clearly when co-leading, even more so!!! In particular, the lack of pure introvert or extrovert could cause co-leaders to really have issues if the mostly introvert assumed there were certain areas they should take charge of and the same for the mostly extrovert.

    I’m a firm believer in the dynamic written agreement between these co-leaders (as suggested by the late Stephen Covey; I called the Team Performance Agreements or TPAs when working with student teams with no designated leader by me) would be extremely valuable! Written for starting points for the revisions that will be made, dynamic because revisions will be necessary for it to remain appropriate.

    1. Mike Lehr

      The challenge John is that we are often more interested in the labels of extrovert and introvert than we are in how they actually play out in real life, when real projects and real pressures. After all, virtually all personality tests are administered under quiet, calm conditions. Real life is not like this at all times. Our personalities fluctuate with moods and circumstances. Performance agreements can help. We need to keep in mind that what we think is best for us isn’t necessarily how we behave. If the agreement is used as guidelines, not rules, you’re right. It will serve as a good starting point.

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