Imagine a planning meeting with three people with a preference for Introversion and one with a preference for Extraversion. Who talks the most during the three hour timeframe?
To top that off the Extravert, who just happens to be me, leans toward Expressive. In the Step 2 distinctions that fall on the Introversion – Extraversion dichotomy there is a scale that measures whether you are Expressive or Contained. Expressive types are self revealing and easier to get to know while contained types are more controlled and private.

John Agno’s guest post recently encouraged those with a preference for Introversion to step up and out in the extraverted world of business. While this may be great advice for those who are eager to build their profile, there is also a case to be made for the Extravert paying heed in the opposite direction.

For an Extravert their dominant function is external and visible to the world. For my ENFP type Intuition is my dominant function and this is apparent in my penchant for the bold brush stroke of the big picture view. What you see is what you get for the most part with Extraverts. They show you who they are. They just can’t help it.

For an Introvert their dominant function of Feeling is internal and invisible to the world. What shows in the external realm is the secondary function somewhat like the lieutenant relaying the message to the dominant function which is in the role of the general. A real life example of this can be seen in the ISFP who www.typetalk.com refers to with the tagline “Sees much shares little”. There is a lot of internal dialogue and great awareness on the inside but the ISFP might not speak their observations.

Extraverts can provide benefit not only for everyone in the meeting but also for the end result when they can practice being Contained and reigning in their compulsion to leap into the middle of things. Good conversation needs time to have all of the voices heard. As well as discipline in these matters on the part of both the Extravert to listen and the Introver to participate, good practices such as regularly adding round robin reporting to your meetings so that everyone in the room is asked to share their observations in turn. That ensures that at there is an opportunity for richer input.

Having an online forum or social media platform outside of meetings to continue the conversation also gives those with a preference for Introversion time to reflect and a natural way to harvest their opinions.

During one offsite retreat my colleague and I had teams from different parts of an organization participate in a “Visioning Through Collage” making exercise. I recall the tangible shift in the air. Interest turned to admiration as the team had a chance to hear the vision of a very quiet team member. The visual nature of the collage helped as well but the impact was that this person was both seen and heard in a new and meaningful way.

Category: Communication
  • Share/Bookmark