June 6, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 2: Being An Extrovert

It's 7:00 AM. Your boss calls you at home and tells you to take the day off - everything is covered. What will you do with your unanticipated free day?

If you said, "Go out with some friends, catch dinner with some folks, plan a group outing," you are likely an extrovert.

Being an extrovert isn’t so much about whether or not you are outgoing or comfortable in groups. It’s more about where you get your energy from.

As an extrovert, you are energized:
  • By the external world of people, activities and things 
  • When trying things out 
  • By interaction with others 
  • By talking things out
This means that you are recharged and invigorated by social interaction and prefer talking through ideas rather than going off on your own to reflect.

One trap here though is to end up thinking that every idea shared needs to be acted on. I call it “extrovert overload.” As you begin "talking things out," you hit upon idea after idea - “We could do it this way..”, “Or how about this…!”

Before you know it, you have 20 ideas on the table and are feeling overwhelmed - either not knowing which one to choose or thinking you have to do it all. To avoid this, think of your “talking things out” time as a bit of a download rather than as an action list.

At work and play, the extrovert:
  • Seeks variety & action, can get bored easily 
  • Wants to be with others 
  • Prefers interests that have breadth 
  • After-thinkers
For the extrovert, alone time is still important, but it drains energy rather than restores. If you find yourself feeling run down, tired, or bored, re-charge by getting into action or going out and being around others.

Finally, when it comes to communication, extroverts:
  • Require less personal space 
  • Speak louder & more quickly than introverts 
  • Use more physical gestures & facial animation than introverts 
  • Like to meet face-to-face
  • Blurt! 
Understanding your communication style is extremely helpful – especially when you are communicating with an Introvert, who will prefer to listen to a few ideas, go off and reflect and then return to develop a plan of action.

Extroverts can come across as overbearing, intimidating, or overwhelming. So, learning when to turn it down a notch, to tune into the energy level of the person you are communicating with, and developing some skills to avoid blurting out whatever is one your mind are all good places to start for Extroverts.

Next week, we will be talking about Introverts (I), the counterpart to the Extrovert (E) personality and also exploring how E’s and I’s can get along!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this information - very helpful!


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