Changing Your Spots: The Extro-Introvert
Bringing Yourself to Work / July 10, 2017

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. Extrovert People Dialog Introvert Prep for meeting: Remember to: ·       Ask opinions of others ·       Confirm agreement to solution ·       Build on suggestions   Philippa—extrovert   Andrew—introvert 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…

Extroversion Done Right
Bringing Yourself to Work / July 3, 2017

Extroversion Done Right In the previous post, your extrovert ways blind-sided you when trying to solve a problem with your colleagues. You thought you had a solution but nobody would implement. What went wrong? Well, there were a couple of things: You assumed leadership: Normally, it’s a good thing to have someone in the group who wants to take ownership of the problem and come up with a solution. But because you are all peers, your automatic assumption that you were the leader (implied: the boss) was unwarranted. You didn’t ask others’ opinions: With Ken’s objections (church commitments and babysitting), you handled them on their face value—that is, problems to be solved on the way to your solution. You didn’t consider whether his objections possibly reflected a more general feeling of discomfort with your proposed approach. You didn’t check for level of support for your idea: I think it is evident that at least some in the group didn’t buy your idea because they refused to implement it. If you’d surfaced these objections in the meeting, things might have gone better. Extroversion Done Right Let’s replay the meeting from the last post to get a better outcome. You: So, guys,…

When Extroversion Can Do You In
Bringing Yourself to Work / June 26, 2017

When Extroversion Can Do You In As I have discussed previously, extroverts rule the roost in most work places. They earn more, get more promotions, and are generally more valued than introverts because of their willingness to lead and sometimes even their charisma. So, if you are an extrovert, you’ve got it made at work. Or so you might think. But before we get going, let’s agree on our terms. What is an extrovert? It is generally agreed that the definition of an extrovert is related to the source of his/her energy. Introverts get their energy from being alone; extroverts from being with people. extroverts tend to: Which confers advantages at work because: ·       Like talking ·       You’re more likely to keep everybody in the loop ·       Enjoy being at the center of attention  You’re more likely to take on leadership roles ·       Act first before thinking ·       You can be great in a crisis ·       Enjoy group work ·       You thrive in and are committed to team endeavors So, all to the good, right? And generally that is the case. However, extroversion can come with its own set of pitfalls. Here’s an example of when it might be a…

More Faking Extroversion
Bringing Yourself to Work / June 19, 2017

More Faking Extroversion In the last post, I discussed how, as an introvert, you can up your chances to get extra research money by taking a more active role in shaping how things roll out. There are other ways. Ways to fake extroversion Speak up: There are undoubtedly situations where you have an opinion about how your unit should function. You typically might not engage in the debate or, if you feel really strongly, go to the boss afterwards to get him to change his mind. This is usually doomed to failure. You need to be able to speak up at the time if it impacts your work in a significant way. Put yourself forward: It would be nice to think that all your good, hard, and even innovative work will be hailed and loudly lauded. If that happens, stay where you are—you’re not gonna get it anywhere else. Typically, the quiet ones are either taken for granted or, at best, are thrown a bone (“Oh, yeah, that Amber—the backbone of the unit.”) But backbones don’t get the to-die-for assignments—mouths do. If you want something that others are vying for, you need to put yourself forward. Fake it ‘til you feel it…

Faking Extroversion
Bringing Yourself to Work / June 12, 2017

Faking Extroversion In the last post, I gave you an example of when introversion can prevent you from being successful even if it’s not about salary or promotions. What went wrong and what you could have done There were several times during that interaction when your introversion didn’t help you get the extra research money. I won’t replay the whole conversation, but pick some bits to discuss. Narita claims she did an analysis: Narita: Great, I’ve done the analysis, Jeff, and I can deliver three months earlier with the infusion of new money. Introverts typically need time to reflect before they can react. Springing claims in the meeting can be off-putting. But you could have said: You: That’s great, Narita. Could you walk us through the analysis? This gives you time to reflect—still a bit on the fly but better than nothing. You try to get a focus on the data: You: Can I see the analysis? Narita: Sure, I’ll send it to you. Three months gives us a jump on production. We might be able to make the spring sales conference instead of the fall’s. She breezed by the lack of analysis to the carrot she is dangling in…