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Your Path To Awareness

Image depicting the comparison between introverts and extroverts, or apples and oranges
True Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts

Posted: 17-Jan-2014    Category: Business, Leadership

Recently it seems like the common question from people during my personality workshops is; What is the difference between introverts and Extroverts? The reason this question keeps coming up is most people are not aware of the main difference between them. By understanding this difference, we can more effectively communicate with our employees and clients.

We may all be human, but that does not mean we all think the same. In fact, when it comes to how the brain functions, there are actually two dramatically different models. This is why there are introverts and extroverts in this world.

Introverts tend to be quieter because they do their best work in their heads. They are more intuitive, trusting what their subconscious tells them. They tend to think through issues before tackling them. This is a more cautious approach that can lead to more measured, careful responses.

Extroverts, on the other hand, solve problems through action. They believe what their senses tell them. They understand the world through feeling, which is why they tend to act first. In this ways, extroverts may get more done since they handle issues directly with minimal delay.

Understanding these differences is critical to understand why people are the way they are. Introverts and extroverts often struggle to identify with each other because their brains function in fundamentally different ways.

However, it is also important to note that very few people are exclusively one way or the other. We all have dominant and auxiliary preferences. Our dominant preference may be the one we lean to most often, but we are all capable of developing our auxiliary preference more over time. In fact, if we neglect our auxiliary preferences, we often suffer because our lives lack balance.

Think about it. If someone is solely introverted, nothing would ever get done. It is simply not practical. But if someone is exclusively extroverted, their lives are entirely superficial, devoid of reflection and growth.

Therefore, remember the following points.
  1. Personality matters to us. Your personality is not just a small quirk. It is a fundamental part of who you are, affecting the way you think. There is no right or wrong when it comes to personality. There are only differences.
  2. Personality matters in relationships. If we want to truly connect with others, be they introverted or extroverted, we need to first understand how their mind works. We need to identify if they are intuitive or sensory. Only then can we make sense of their actions. We should not want people to be just like us. Rather, we need to learn how to value them for who they are.
  3. Personality is malleable. Personality may be inherent but that does not mean that it cannot be changed. While no one should have to abandon who they are, it is helpful to start developing your auxiliary preferences while also playing to your strengths.
Key Thing To Remember When Communicating With Them

Introverts: When you ask them a question, shut up and give them time to think. Introverts need time to process mentally.

Extroverts: Let them talk their way through their thoughts. Extroverts need to use all their senses during communication.

Personality does not just define who you are, but it can have a dramatic impact on your life, your career and your relationships. Spend some time understanding yourself, and then take the time to understand the people around you. You will be surprised how much insight you will gain.

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