Earlier this week, one of my readers commented on a post I wrote about ADHD. Her comment was such a good question that it sparked this post. She said:
I'm intrigued by the phrase “An Outgoing Introvert” as others are often surprised that I consider myself an introvert. Do you think we've learned to be outgoing out of necessity, so we can network, or is there something else going on? Any thoughts? ~ Janet Barclay
I love Janet's question! Let's talk about that today.
Over the years of attending networking functions and conferences I've learned that a good number of the people there consider themselves introverts… me included. (It's helpful to note that being shy and being introverted are not necessarily the same thing. Shyness is usually related to confidence and the other is personality type.)
Curious if You Are Introverted or Extroverted or Both?
I have described myself as an “Outgoing Introvert” or an “Extroverted Introvert” for years! At the time, I thought I had made up the terminology. However, I was not the first to coin the phrase.
As I was researching to write this post, I found a two quick quizzes you can take and get immediate results without giving your email.
- Forbes recently had an article on leadership comparing introverts and extroverts. In it, they referenced the quiz Are You An Introvert or Extrovert. I ended up with a balanced score, otherwise known as an E/I or Extroverted Introvert.
- Introvert-Extravert Test. I have no idea how scientific it is, but it seemed to come out pretty accurate for me. It rated me as balanced 50/50 too.
What in the Heck is an Extroverted Introvert?
Extroverted Introverts often fall right in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Many E/Is have the best of both worlds because they can tap into either spectrum as needed.
I find that to be true for me. Once I meet people and conversation starts, I can get quite animated. I love my solitude — my thinking and reading time, but I also love loud music and dancing with my friends or getting up on stage to speak to 100s of people. I'm a mix.
So What Does This Have to Do With Business?
Regardless of if you are introverted, extroverted or a combination, any time you try to put a square peg into a round hole, it generally does not work.
Understanding your personality style is helpful in navigating networking, talking with prospects or building joint venture partners, etc.
I love people, but in general I'm much more comfortable if someone comes to talk to me rather than me seeking someone out. That has been true since I was quite young.
However, when I started my business back in 2002, I quickly learned that networking was much more effective if I was not trying to blend in with the wallpaper!
Over the years, I've learned many techniques and adapted. I'm still authentically me, but I approach interactions differently and with ease.
If you are interested in that Forbes article here it is: Introverts No Longer the Quiet Followers of Extroverts – Forbes. There are many excellent tips on accommodating various style types.
So, What Do You Do?
I'm always curious how other business owners manage their personality type to successfully navigate networking and other business conversations. Share your tips freely in the comments below!
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday