Tag Archives: extroverts

How Do You Fit In A Group of Talkers?

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My colleague Susan Cain, Author of the blockbuster Quiet  asked me to respond to one of her readers. Here is what Susan wrote: “I received a letter from a reader named “Lily” who describes herself as extremely quiet and shy.  Lily is part of a women’s group called the “Super Women Sisterhood” which is comprised of eight very boisterous, extroverted women.  When Lily attends the meetings she feels invisible and overwhelmed, and she worries that the women feel she is being anti-social or snobby. She wants to feel comfortable with the “Super Women Sisterhood” because she feels it will become a supportive, nurturing environment once they understand her.  She asked me to suggest some strategies or ice breakers to help her connect to the women and help them bond and learn more about each other. Continue reading

Do Introverts or Extroverts Curse More?

Reporter Alina Dizik contacted me about this touchy subject for her piece,  Should You Get Fired For Cursing At Work?

There is the right answer; you shouldn’t. There is also the grey response; sometimes it is okay. With the stress everyone faces these days, let’s be real. Sometimes the cursing (or “cussing” as we say down here in Atlanta) feels plain good.

But do be careful about who hears you AND about making it a habit. I sat next to another speaker recently whose body visibly shook as she heard our mutual colleague use a few choice words. Also – it just is not a career enhancing move to be known as the office potty mouth.

Who do you think curses more? Introverts or Extroverts? Because they talk more, are outies the number one cursers? Or, because introverts sometimes bottle up their feelings, do they let them out in form of expletives?

What do you think?

Introverted leaders are the best for proactive employees

My Google Alerts and equally alert friends were quick to inform me of some intriguing developments on the research scene. A new study on introverted leaders appeared in Harvard Business Review’s Dec. issue and takes a look at how introverted leaders fare with more “proactive” or extroverted followers. One key learning? They listen and process the ideas of an eager team. Extroverted leaders don’t do as well with other extroverts because they are too busy being outgoing and contributing ideas – leaving little time to act on them. Research was conducted in the research lab and in the field.

Francesca Gino ran the study along with professors Adam M. Grant of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and David A. Hofmann of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Their article, “Reversing the Extraverted Leadership Advantage: The Role of Employee Proactivity,” will appear in the Academy of Management Journal next year.

Note: Extroverted can be spelled with an “a” – the strictly Jungian version. I choose to go with the commonly accepted spelling “o”. Neither is right or wrong:)

Want to hear more? Listen to Dr. Gino’s interview. She explains the study and the potential implications. We have already had a delightful exchange and are meeting soon to share our mutual findings. Stay tuned.

Do Extroverts Pay More Attention to Faces?

A new study thinks so. In a paper presented at the American Psychological Association this month, Brains of Introverts Reveal Why They Prefer Being Alone a research team from the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California conducted an intriguing study. Here are  some excerpts from a write up in Live Science:

“They used a method known as the “oddball task” in which subjects see a series of very similar images, such as a bunch of blue cars, and then all of a sudden, a slightly different image appears, such as a red car. In the current experiment, subjects saw a series of male faces and every so often a female face appeared. They were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with pictures of yellow ones.

Electrodes placed on the subjects’ scalps recorded the electrical activity in their brains, a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG. The researchers studied a particular change in the brain’s electrical activity known as P300.

The higher subjects had scored on a test for extroversion, the greater their P300 response was to human faces. In other words, extroverts pay more attention to human faces (P300 can be seen as an indicator of human attention, or how fast their brains’ noticed that something has changed.) There was no link between scores on extroversion and the P300 response to flowers. Introverts had very similar P300 responses to both human faces and to flowers.”

“They (Introverts) just didn’t place a larger weight on social stimuli than they did on any other stimuli, of which flowers are one example,”  said.

“[This] supports the claim that introverts, or their brains, might be indifferent to people — they can take them or leave them, so to speak. The introvert’s brain treats interactions with people the same way it treats encounters with other, non-human information, such as inanimate objects for example,” Inna Fishman said.

The researchers concluded, “The results strongly suggest that human faces, or people in general, hold more significance for extroverts, or are more meaningful for them.”

The ideas here should not be taken as absolutes but perhaps are true to some degree. Keep in mind that the sample size was small (only 28) and limited (ages 18-40) More research should be done on this hypothesis. But it is an interesting start.

How To Manage An Introvert

Introverts may be less noisy in the workplace, but by all accounts they outnumber extroverts. If you lead or manage others in your organization, odds are, there are at least a few introverts on your team. To get the best from these “innies,” it’s important to learn how to speak their language, whether you are an extrovert or an introvert yourself.

Read the rest of my Friday WSJ guest column here: How To Manage An Introvert and let me know if you have other management tips for getting the best out of the innies on your team.

Introverts: “Don’t sell yourself- put your best foot forward”

I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Gelberg,  career coach and author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career on my recent trip to Cambridge, MA. Wendy offered some job search tips for introverts that I know you will find useful. Introverted insights from Wendy Gelberg