Introversion

How Introverts Can Succeed on Teams with Extroverts

Guest Blogger's picture
Published on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 16:12 by Guest Blogger

Pen and PaperI’m sitting in the back of the crowded room, near the wall, and it seems like this staff meeting is never going to end.

All the extroverts – the room is full of them – are jumping over each other to debate the finer points of a new policy we’re putting into effect. There are so many differing opinions and rapid changes of topic that I’m not even sure what the central problem is anymore. The conversation is moving so quickly that I couldn’t get a word in if I wanted to.

Suddenly all the talking stops. A decision has been made. I’m still thinking about a point someone made ten minutes ago.

As an introvert working on a team of (mostly) extroverts, this has happened to me more times than I can count.

What’s an introvert to do? Shrink back into the wall and let everyone else make the decisions? Get passed over for raises and promotions because you’re not as visible as your extroverted colleagues?

While we’re never going to keep pace with extroverts in their ability to talk eloquently on the fly or possess (seemingly) endless amounts of energy, we can succeed on extroverted teams, and keep ourselves sane. 

Carl Jung on Extraversion and Introversion

Bill McAneny's picture
Published on Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:51 by Bill McAneny

Carl JungWe all know what Jung meant by Extraversion and Introversion, but do we know what he actually said?

It’s strange how many people are bought into the theory and practice of Jungian type but haven’t ventured to read the words of the great man himself. The primary source materials provide an excellent insight into his thinking on personality differences and he gives us colour, flavour and lots of humour! We all know that Jung was clear what he meant by Extraversion and Introversion: where we draw our energy from. However when we read his words we can see not only his take but also his opinion. On Extraversion:

Extraversion is characterized by a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in and get “with it,” the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind…the cultivation of friends and acquaintances, none too carefully selected…He has no secrets he has not long since shared with others.  Should something unmentionable nevertheless befall him, he prefers to forget it…all self-communings give him the creeps.  Dangers lurk there which are better drowned out by noise. 

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