Changing Your Spots: The Extro-Introvert
In the previous posts, I’ve discussed how introverts and extroverts can operate successfully in a work environment. But I think that the most successful people are kind of extro-introverts. That is, they can call on either set of skills as the situation warrants. So, I’m doing one final example of a meeting.
If you tend to extroversion, you should pay most attention to the left-hand column for tips on being effective. The introverts have a similar column on the right.
|Prep for meeting: Remember to:
· Ask opinions of others
· Confirm agreement to solution
· Build on suggestions
|Topic of Meeting:
How to coordinate use of 3D printer given recent complaints from both Philippa’s and Andrew’s units
|Prep for meeting:
· Prepare argument
· Practice delivery
· Identify possible objections
|You’ve signaled you want to work cooperatively.||Philippa:||I’ve got an idea of how this might work. Mind if I start things off?|
|Andrew:||Sure, but I have a proposal, too.||You created a space to come back to your idea.|
|You’re asking for feedback rather than assuming agreement.||Philippa:||This seems easy to solve. We just assign each section specific days for printer access. What do you think?|
|Andrew:||I don’t think that will work.||Oops, slipping a bit by not clarifying.|
|You’re listening!||Philippa:||Why not?|
|Andrew:||People may need the printer for a bit and then not for several months.||Back on track.|
|You’re listening AND building on an idea.||Philippa:||Hmm—okay, I see your point. What about a sign-up sheet?|
|Andrew:||But my guys think they should get more time, period. Because they run prototypes for every stage of their projects.||You got out your proposal and provided an explanation.|
|You can defend your idea without steamrollering.||Philippa:||Hey, whoa there. My guys need to prototype a lot, too.|
|Andrew:||Not as much as mine.||Okay, now we’re slipping into no-you-aren’t, yes-I-am territory.|
|Reprise Andrew:||(Hand out sheet). I did an analysis of the usage. My guys use it 60% of the time to your 40%. That’s how to split usage.||You had identified a possible objection and prepared for it.|
|Philippa:||Just a couple of months isn’t a good picture. Tim hasn’t used the printer since June but needs a series of models soon.|
|Andrew:||So, you think usage will vary widely.||You’re listening—Your strength.|
|Philippa:||Sure. Why not have people project usage and assign days based on that?|
|Andrew:||I don’t know. People might not be able to predict well.|
|You are seeking agreement.||Philippa:||How about trying it for a couple of months to see if it works?|
|Andrew:||I suppose that we could and then discuss it in February.|
Do you end up with the best solution?
Who knows. But not falling into our proclivities—extroverts to assume agreement without checking and introverts not raising their objections—seems sure to make a good solution even less likely. If both introverts and extroverts try to move to some middle extro-introvert ground, then they can play both sides—coming up with ideas but checking for agreement; tabling objections but working through the solutions, etc. Sounds like good team work, no?