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  • drdianehamilton 8:09 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Introvert, , , , NACACS, , ,   

    Understanding Personality Improves Communication and Productivity 

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    In my recent NACACS presentation, I received a lot of questions about the differences in personalities in the workplace. Some of the participants had gone through Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, or some other type of assessment. However, many of them had not had any training regarding personality preferences. There are a variety of personality assessments that can help people learn how to get along at work. Therefore, it may be challenging to determine which assessment to use. I believe that there are some important things to learn from many of these tools. Toni Rothpletz and I wrote It’s Not You It’s Your Personality to summarize the important aspects of each of the major personality assessments and help employees thrive at work.

    Many guests on my Take the Lead Radio Show are experts in different aspects of helping employers improve communication. That is really what these assessments are meant to improve. We need to communicate more effectively; we can do that through improved understanding of each other’s preferences. Whether it is the introvert learning how to get a word in edgewise with an extravert, or a dominant personality learning to listen better, it is all about communicating effectively. In the 1970s, two separate research teams came up with what we now call The Big Five Factors of Personality, based on research that came out in the early 1930s. Societies have endeavored to determine the best ways to communicate. It is a challenge that will continue because there are so many unique personality traits.

    What may help is to develop empathy, which is a big component of emotional intelligence. I studied the importance of empathy on interpersonal relationships as part of my doctoral dissertation. Empathy, mood self-regulation, self-presentation, along with practical intelligence was a big factor related to work success. Employees who demonstrate empathy understand other’s feelings when making decisions that might impact them. Companies that focus on developing these important skills can have more productive and engaged employees. It behooves employers to proactively encourage effective communication, due to the $550 billion a year productivity loss due to unhappy employees. They can begin by helping employees understand personality preferences. People are more accepting of personalities that are different from their own if they understand why people display certain behaviors. Once they understand different personality traits, they can develop empathy and other key emotional intelligence traits to help them be more successful, cooperative, and productive workers.

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  • drdianehamilton 9:15 am on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Introvert, , ,   

    The Reluctant Extravert 

    The Myers-Briggs MBTI assessment claims it can help determine whether a person is an introvert or an extravert.  According to the official Myers-Briggs site, people know they are an extravert if they think things like, “I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.”

    I have received the training to be a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor.  Whenever I have taken the MBTI assessment, my score or preference for extraversion is very high.  According to these results, “I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”  I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.  I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.  I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don’t allow enough time to think it over. Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.”

    Lately I’ve considered that I may be a bit of a reluctant extravert.  Many of these points just do not fit me. I would say that most people that meet me would consider me outgoing.  I do like to talk.  I have a hard time handling “dead air”. I also like to have a lot to do. These are definitely extraverted traits.  However, usually I prefer to avoid being around a lot of people.  Many of the above-listed points do not really describe me at all.  For example, I don’t jump into things without a great deal of thought.

    Why would my score come out as having a high preference for extraversion?  In my training, they explained that we can act more introverted or extraverted based on a situation.  I think it can be difficult to lump people into categories or types.  I think Myers-Briggs does it as well as any assessment can.  However, even in the training I received, they acknowledged that we are all different.  No one is always one way or another.  It is about preferences.  Our preference for introversion or extraversion is similar in how we prefer to be right-handed or left-handed.  We might be able to write with both, but we prefer one over the other.  We may be able to be outgoing or not, but we prefer one over the other.

    One of the reasons I co-wrote the book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality is because I don’t think any “one” personality assessment can truly explain people.  There are many theories about personality that need exploration. I felt that the Big Five, Management by Strengths, DISC, and other assessments offered some valid insight into people’s personalities. While I highly recommend learning about Myers-Briggs and the MBTI, I also think some of the other assessments are worth researching as well.

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  • drdianehamilton 4:20 pm on February 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Introvert, , , , , ,   

    Do Introverts Make Good Speakers? 

    This is a very interesting topic that was recently brought up in one of my foresight in technology courses I teach.  Many of my  technology students are introverts. The Myers Briggs MBTI classifies people as introverts and extroverts.  The introvert tends to think before they speak. The extrovert tends to think as they speak.  Because of this, many may assume, the time lag preferred by an introvert may not make them the most likely candidates to be a good speaker.

    However, really good speakers have spent long hours in preparation of their presentations.  This is an ideal way for the introvert to deliver information.  They have time to think and arrange their thoughts in a way that comes across in the way they intended. 

    Classic introverts, like Bill Gates, can deliver wonderful speeches.  The problem introverts may experience in the speaking circuit would probably have more to do with the question and answer session at the end of the presentation.  At that point, once questions are asked, the introvert speaker could answer things very quickly if it is something they are familiar with and have answered previously.  However, should a heckler get into the crowd and ask something way off topic, in that case, it might not be the ideal situation for the classic introvert. 

    An example of an introverted leader/speaker feeling as if they are under pressure during a Q&A session would be the Mark Zuckerberg video where he had flop sweat.

     
  • drdianehamilton 1:12 pm on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Introvert, Jeff Foxworthy, , Medical Care, , , , Physicians, , ,   

    How to Handle Your Introvert or Extrovert Doctor 

     

    Ever since I became a qualified Myers-Briggs MBTI instructor, I tend to try and figure out a person’s personality and what “type” they would be.  I was thinking about this the other day as I was talking to one of my physicians. I really like this guy because he is very calm and listens well.  He is a classic introvert.  He thinks a long time before he speaks.  Because I have had the MBTI personality assessment training, I know that when he is quiet, he is thinking about what he wants to say, so I try to shut up and give him the chance to speak.  

    As I mentioned in the book I co-wrote with Toni Rothpletz,  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, I am the classic extrovert.  I never stop talking.  When I am in a doctor’s office, I tend to blab blab blab about what I want to say because that is how I think . . . externally.  That is what we extroverts do.  The problem with extroverts going to doctors who are introverts is that we, the extroverts, tend to do all of the talking.  We want answers but we don’t give the poor doctor a chance to speak to give us those answers. 

    From the studies I’ve seen, more people are extroverts and more extroverts than introverts are drawn to the primary care doctor positions. There is some data to show that introverts may be drawn to being surgeonsMy husband is an extroverted surgeon, but I can see that the surgical field would be a natural fit for the introvert.  I would think the anesthesiologist position would naturally appeal to the introverts as well.  As I wrote about in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I was a pharmaceutical representative for 15 years.  During that time, I saw that there were plenty of both types of doctors in all specialities.

    How will you know if your doctor is an introvert or an extrovert?  The biggest clue will be in how long they take to respond to your questions.  If they answer quickly and talk over you, they may be an extrovert. If they take a few moments to think about what they want to say and appear to be quieter, they may be an introvert.

    However, there will be a mix of introverts and extroverts in just about any field.  Therefore I think it is important to think about how to interact with your doctor based on your type as well as his or her type.  Here are some suggestions about how to interact with them:

    If you are an introvert and your doctor is an introvert:

    You both like to take time to think about what you want to say.  Your appointment probably will take a little longer while you both take your time to speak.  Introverts can interact well together because they understand how each other thinks.  However, be careful not to take too long to think about what you want to say and leave without getting your point out there.  It will come naturally for you to wait for their response but be sure they have had a chance to say all that they want to say.  You might ask “is there anything else I should be aware of?” or something like that to be sure they are finished. 

    If you are an introvert and your doctor is an extrovert:

    You may find more frustration here because your doctor will be doing most of the talking.  You need to be aware that since there is a higher number of extroverts, you have a good chance of this happening.  You may have to push yourself to think a little quicker and be more prepared ahead of time.  I would recommend coming with a list of your concerns that you have had time to think about previously so that you can just hand them to the doctor.  This helps keep his active mind busy and you can be sure that your questions will be heard. 

    If you are an extrovert and your doctor is an introvert:

    This is the situation I mentioned previously that I was in with my physician.  It is important that we as extroverts learn to recognize the introvert personality.  If you are doing all of the talking and the doctor is just listening and not really saying much, you might be talking to an introvert.  (It almost sounded like a Jeff Foxworthy routine there)  Try to ask one question at a time and stop and wait for their response.  I have to stop myself all of the time and just shut up.  This can be difficult for the extrovert but if you really want your answer, you must be aware that they think internally and like to take their time coming up with a response.  For you introvert doctors out there reading this . . . You would best be served to tell the extrovert patient something like, “that is a good question . . . give me a second while I think about an appropriate answer.”  That may shut us up long enough to sit still and wait for you to speak.

    If you are an extrovert and your doctor is an extrovert:

    In this situation, everyone is talking . . . and at the same time!   This can be a problem as well.  If everyone is speaking over each other and no one is really listening, the problem you are having may not be heard.  I think having a list of ailments and concerns written down before you go can help with every group.  In this particular situation, it may be helpful because it may keep both of you focused.  Try not to talk over the doctor and if they do not stop speaking, stop them every once in a while and say something like, “can I ask you a question?”   This will make a break in the conversation and let them know that you are about to say something that is important.

     
  • drdianehamilton 11:46 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: annoying, Conflicts, , , , , , Introvert, , , , , , ,   

    5 Things You Should Know About Personality in the Workplace 

    Five Things You Should Know About Personality In The Workplace

    #1 Taking personality tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can be a helpful in discovering how to get along with people at work. Conflicts may arise due to a lack of understanding of personality preferences. When people understand why others act the way they do, they are more likely to accept one another.

    #2 Learn the differences between how people process information. If you take the MBTI, you will learn that there is a big difference between introverts and extroverts. An introvert tends to think before they speak. An extrovert tends think as they speak. Frustrations often occur when an extrovert thinks an introvert responds too slowly or when an introvert thinks an extrovert never stops talking. By understanding personality preferences, these conflicts can be avoided. If you are an extrovert, try to give introverts time to answer questions. Don’t answer for them, assuming they didn’t understand the question or didn’t hear you. If you are an introvert, try to realize that an extrovert expects you to answer quickly. Give them something to tide them over until you have an answer. Say something like, “that is interesting . . . let me think about that for a moment.”

    #3 Your emotional intelligence quotient or EQ can sometimes be more important than IQ. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions as well as those in others. Many organizations are looking for emotionally intelligent leaders. There are tests like the EQ-i that can measure your emotional intelligence quotient.

    #4 It is important to consider your “concern for impact”. This basically means how much you care about what others think of you. Some companies even rate people on this as part of the annual performance review. If you aren’t paying attention to people’s reactions to what you say and do, you need to start noticing.

    #5 Know when to keep your mouth shut. Many office conflicts come from people not knowing when to shut up. People know it isn’t a good idea to talk about others behind their back but it still happens all of the time. If you do this . . . it WILL come back to bite you later.

     
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