Together, the instructors explain the different focus of extroverts and introverts. Introverts naturally create meaning of events, whereas extroverts engage in events. Extroverts process out loud, whereas introverts process internally.
- When I tell people that I'm an introvert, they often say, "Are you sure?" And I get that because often, we assume that introverts are shy. Some of us are, but so are some extroverts. The real definition of an introvert is less about shyness or social anxiety and more about being inward facing. Extroverts are more outward facing. These differences show up in many ways such as energy rejuvenation, necessary levels of stimulation, desire for breadth or depth, and our preference for being or doing.
- Of all of these differences, the energy rejuvenation equation is the most distinct difference between introverts and extroverts. The energy for extroverts is outward focused. For us to be energized, we need to draw from others around us. We get motivation and inspiration by being around others and we often like a variety in these environments. So, as an extrovert, I love to recharge my batteries by going to a social gathering or teaching a group fitness class.
- For introverts, our energy rejuvenation comes from time alone. We may enjoy that party that Tatiana's at, but afterwards we're ready to go home. Introverts are at our creative best when we have plenty of solitary time. To recharge my batteries, I love an evening at home with just my husband or a quiet walk. Especially when we had young children still living at home, I cherished my silent retreats, these weekend trips all alone that my family would give to me as a gift.
- A gift? Two days of silence to me sounds almost painful. - Now, because of this energy equation, we behave differently around people. This doesn't mean that we can't flex our behavior when we need to, but in our truest form, you'll notice some differences. Let's take a meeting at work as an example. - [Tatiana] Yeah, there's a good chance that as people arrive, I'll be sharing live updates with everyone at the meeting. - [Girl In White] When introverts walk into meetings, we are happy to hear live updates, but we'll likely focus on one person.
Small talk is exhausting to introverts so I'm usually relieved when the meeting gets underway. - Now, when the meeting is in full swing, I need to take some notes or my mind starts to wander. Remember, extroverts are outward facing so I'm all the time noticing something else or someone else. I openly express my emotions and thoughts. In fact, I could drive my husband crazy with this free flow blabbering. "Are you processing or do I need to do something about it?" He'll say to me.
I love it when we brainstorm ideas in meetings because I tend to process out loud and ideas come to me quickly. Now, I have to be cautious because as an extrovert, I tend to drive the conversation. - [Girl In White] As an introvert, I'm committed to listening deeply. I don't feel a need to immediately respond to anyone. In fact, my best thoughts are probably going to happen after I have time to process so I may not say much during the meeting.
- [Tatiana] When the meeting is over, I'm debriefing or rehashing with a colleague as we walk away, a process that helps me organize my thoughts. - [Girl In White] You may be ready to debrief in that hallway, but I'm ready for a nap. All those people, all that talking, I'm ready to just head to my office, close the door, and have some quiet time. - [Tatiana] Now, how about you? If you had to make a best guess, where do you fall in the energy rejuvenation equation? Are you more outward or are you more inward facing? Do you prefer one-on-one conversations or group activities? Do you prefer solitude or company to recharge your batteries? - Now that we've explored the energy equation, let's take a look at the different need for stimulation felt by introverts and extroverts.
- Knowing yourself
- Inward vs. outward
- Being vs. doing
- Stretching the introvert
- Making decisions
- Influencing and leading others
- Stretching the extrovert
- Multitasking mindfully
- Networking strategically