I had the pleasure of attending a presentation Susan Cain gave to Random House employees this week. She began by asking the packed room to separate into groups of six to discuss our most private and personal stories and then share those stories with the rest of the room. Needless to say, there was a moment of silent panic while the audience wondered whether Susan was insane. Thankfully, she broke the silence with a laugh as we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and remained in our seats (I was about to make a run for it). Apparently, there are a lot of introverts interested in learning about their power working at Random House!
We are not alone! Apparently, close to half of all Americans are introverts. And extroverts need us!
Introverts, like Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), Eleanor Roosevelt and Cheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), are more creative and focused, they are better observers of group interactions and have a more careful, circumspect approach to risk. These attributes made it easier for their extrovert partners – Steve Jobs, FDR and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively – to do their job.
So, extroverts, please remember to let your introvert colleagues have their space, appreciate their need for silence and trust that they will blow your mind away with their creativity.
Read Susan Cain’s Five Tips for a Great Introvert Extrovert Relationship on eHarmony.