Flex Your Communication Style

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By:Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 05th, 2019

How to Communicate with Extroverts

  • Extroverts tend to work through their ideas out loud, so expect to do some brainstorming.
  • Be prepared to jump in from time to time with extroverts. Interrupting is not considered rude.
  • When asked what seems like an invasive question, offer just what you are comfortable sharing.
  • If you are caught by surprise with a question, respond that you need a moment to consider it.
  • Send short emails and concise voice mails, and follow up in person with more detail if asked.

How to Communicate with Introverts

  • In meetings and casual conversations, slow down, pause, and give introverts time to reflect and respond.
  • Because introverts need alone time, support teleworking and configuration of office space that supports quiet reflection.
  • Before meetings, send talking points via email or text to give introverts thinking time.
  • Encourage balanced participation in meetings and engage all team members. Monitor how much you speak.
  • If someone seems reserved or quiet, don't ask, 'What's wrong?' Most likely, nothing is wrong. They are in their heads (p. 180-181)."

Are you an introvert or extrovert?  How do you adapt your communication to deal with an extrovert or introvert?

Please note:  Extroversion and introversion is about where you get your energy, not if you are outgoing or shy.  Extroverts get the energy from others, while introverts get their energy from within themselves.

From: Kahnweiler, J. B. (2018). The introverted leader: building on your quiet strength. 2nd edition. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 9:07am -- Beth Flynn

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