May 3, 2011

It can be very frustrating for both extroverts and introverts to relate to one another at work. As the introvert quietly prepares their thoughts and awaits their turn at the morning meeting, the extrovert thinks out loud and participates freely, often leaving the introvert feeling overlooked and overwhelmed. To improve communication between these two personalities try these techniques:

For Introverts

  • Arrive well rested.
  • Be prepared for some light conversation.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and jump into conversations.
  • Keep e-mails and phone messages brief, too much detail will be tedious to an extrovert.

For Extroverts

  • Distribute an agenda before meetings to allow introverts to compose their thoughts in advance.
  • Get down to business, limiting light conversation.
  • Welcome input from everyone as a whole but avoid putting an introvert on the spot.
  • Pause when you are speaking to allow for an introvert to reflect and comment.
  • Listen to an introvert without interrupting, if you’re afraid you’ll lose a great thought, write it down and share it once they have finished.
  • Instead of dropping-in to an introvert’s office, respect their need for privacy and space by scheduling an appointment.