We have heard a lot about introverts and extroverts, “a profundity of human’s natural character” we can say. Most of us are informed of the differences and attributes of introverted and extroverted person. For some, they say labeling people of this classification can be harmful. Others say, it is important to know ourselves to be able to use our energy well. While a few, agree we are a mixture of both. We can agree, all of this can be true.
One significance of knowing this different attributes, is its effect on business. A few experts on this subject implied that knowing yourself, if you’re an introvert, an extrovert or an ambivert, will help you maximize your capabilities, strength, power. Thus, we are delving deeper into the world of these personalities, hoping that somewhere there we’d find a valuable cause. I have a strong feeling, we’ll surely do.
Susan Cain is the author of the best-selling books about introverts. The same person is what many call, the “face of the introvert movement,” and the cofounder of the Quiet Revolution. She spent almost a decade researching, studying, and interviewing different people with varying personalities, types and groups. Her most popular best-sellers are “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” and “Quiet Power: The Secret Strength of Introverts.”
Cain is clearly adept at this topic, and one of her most notable points is how to have these people in business settings. She got the attention of many experts when she enlightened the readers about how introverts and extroverts will fit in such environments, and its impact on the business success. Cain mentioned in her first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, that people fall somewhere on the introvert/extrovert scale, but more likely we land somewhere in between. Just like Carl Jung said, no one is purely introverted or purely extroverted. Most people have tendencies on both sides, which is called ambiverts – people who land on the best of both worlds.
The intricacy of being an introvert, extrovert, and ambivert is only one of the measures of human tendencies. There are many other ways of measurement, such as, we can be either “high-reactive” or “low-reactive” or somewhere in between.
Determining where we fall in the continuum has to do with how we can use and recharge our energies. There are people who crave a moment of solitude, and spend a time alone, to feel recharged, and then carry on with their errands. One great example of this is Mr. Barack Obama. While others feel energized when surrounded with a group; and some people are a little bit of both. It’s also true that everyone desires to be around people where they can express their feelings. The difference is whether we are more comfortable in one-on-one or group settings.
Why You Need to Know Yourself
All of these will fall on the most significant question: why is it important? Knowing yourself, finding your place in the continuum, is important as this will help you maximize your capabilities. Getting to know yourself, will help you direct your abilities in the most appropriate way possible. Choosing the best fitting –vert will help you live a fulfilling life, rather than impeding it. Just like Cain suggests, at times you can “Channel your inner introvert” or “Here, have a glass of extroversion.”
People just need the right opportunity and environment to transcend in a particular field. In many circumstances, the quietest person is typically the one who stands up and takes on leadership. To be a good leader, one must know himself first to be able to identify his team members’ tendencies. Then, this will result in the creation of the right environment, where everyone can grow and excel.
Human Tendencies and Application to Work
Different office setup can affect the quality of work of individuals. For instance, there’s a recent trend today about ‘open-offices’; new and clearly unconventional compared to the traditional building layouts with high-walled cubes and side offices. According to Cain, 70% of employees today work in an open plan. This office setting led to “a shift from ‘I’ to ‘we’ work,” said Steelcase CEO James Hackett told Fast Company in 2005.
People who strive in this open-office environment, typically lean more onto the extroverted human tendencies. They feel more energized talking and expressing their selves in front of many people.
However, studies say that this type of environment may not work well for all, especially for introverted individuals. These people crave for silence, at least for some time of the day. People with quieter tendencies may excel more in a quiet office model, with walls and personal space for solace. A time for silence may help them maximize their effectiveness in work.
Therefore, to boost the productivity rate, the best solution is to consider creating separate quiet spaces or rooms in the office. If employees will be encouraged to use these spaces, people with every tendency will get the motivation they need to be more effective. They can be around with people, or spend a time alone at different times of the day, whenever their natural tendencies ask them to be.
Cain’s work received a ton of praises both from average readers, and professionals. Prominent Wharton professor Adam Grant is one of those saying, “Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. Quiet is that book; it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world.”
We can learn about human tendencies, not only from the books of Cain, but everywhere. A simple google search, a Ted Talk, or reading books can give us a deeper insight on this topic, which can be helpful for our growth, wellness, and even careers.
Something to Learn
The topic about introversion, extroversion or ambiversion has existed long before it has recently exploded. Slowly, people are learning more about human tendencies and its importance. Illumination of the self, and the people around us, will lead to an absolutely fulfilling life. Learning our human tendencies will direct us to what our inner, true selves are telling us in order to be more productive, happier, and at peace. It could be true that the most successful leaders and performers have known about this. They could be introverts, extroverts or mixtures of both, and they followed their calling. Wherever we fall in the continuum, we can draw inspiration and strength from it by knowing ourselves – and then, be able to help a team, a company or an organization to thrive as we also do.