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March 10, 2010

An Extrovert in the Midst of Introverts: What I learned from Nancy Ancowitz

Last week I attended a wonderful talk by Nancy Ancowitz about her book "Self Promotion for Introverts". According to all assessments I have ever taken, I am an off-the-chart extrovert. That is to say, I am energized by being around people.

An article by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen states that "extroverts are interested in what's happening outside themselves: their surroundings, people, noises. Extroverts don't tend to enjoy spending time alone, and they get their energy from other people. A significant extroverted personality trait is that energy flows outward.

But as it turns out, I am in two significant relationships with introverts - my husband and my business partner. And that is why the book is so fascinating for an extrovert.

Perhaps my unconscious choice of partners was more deliberate than I thought - they both listen to me! That being said, they are both very social (as far as introverts go) and that is probably why we get along. In other words, they can both keep up with me.

Some of my takeaways were to let the introverts in your life speak! That means for me to shut up. Introverts prefer to think before they speak. So sometimes, they need a minute to organize their thoughts. That does not mean that their silence is an opportunity for me to start talking again.

Oh yea, and while I am at it, they do not really like to be interrupted either. I find that since I like to think aloud, I often dictate a conversation that I think they should have. How annoying! I am going to work on letting my introverts think for themselves. Chances are, they give more thought to what they want to say that I do at times.

Finally, a great take away for me was to be aware that I have certain style preferences and introverts have different style preferences and that we should work together to meet half way.

Thanks Nancy, great book for all of the introverts & extroverts out there!

posted by Amy Abrams

In other introvert / extrovert news:

Howard Greenstein of Inc Magazine interviews Adelaide Lancaster about being an introvert AND an entrepreneur

Nancy Ancowitz interviews Amy Abrams and Adelaide Lancaster about their introvert-extrovert partnership

1 comment:

Joaquin Roca said...

Thanks for the post, Amy. I never thought of interrupting people as an introvert-extrovert difference, but it makes total sense. Being an introvert (though like the partners in your life I am a social introvert) who gets interrupted more than I would like, I think that perspective will help me deal with my frustration around process during certain conversations. Thanks.