Who do you think are better sales people, leaders or innovators?
Extroverts, Introverts or Ambiverts, and what the heck is an Ambivert
Keep reading to understand more about the valuable information delivered in the session titled, “A Quiet Revolution: Changing How We Work, Lead and Innovate.” Susan Cain spoke about the differences between introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts and how to ensure each can be better salespeople, leaders and innovators.
We have been told for eons that extroverts are better salespeople, so let’s see if that myth is fact or fiction.
Do you think an introvert can be great salespeople, leaders, or innovators?
We live in a global culture that often tells us we need to be an extrovert or make certain extrovert qualities surface if we want to be great salespeople or even great leaders. Culture tells us we have to be something we really are not. Frankly this idea is silly and this doesn’t mean we should not go outside of our comfort zone from time to time, but Susan says, “It’s a mistake to turn yourself inside out to become someone you are not.”
Can introverts sell, lead, or be creative? This was a question that Cain tossed the audience’s direction and shortly thereafter she answered, “YES!”
Two Things to Know About Introverted Personalities
- Temperament matters
- Introverts love extroverts
Do you know who you are?
Extroverts are forever obliged to participate and people who fit into this category have an internal battery that is always recharging. Think of the Energizer Bunny, for example. Introverts are not appropriately cooperative, and their internal battery is always draining no matter how skilled they may be or how often they try to recharge. Essentially everyone on this earth has a different internal wiring. Our nervous systems react to stimulation. Introverts like quiet and extroverts like noise.
Extroverts are at a liability when there is not enough happening in their space. On the flip side, introverts create a calm bubble around them giving themselves the ability to have control of their surroundings. Background noise is a perfect example, as introverts often listen to softer music and extroverts prefer louder music. For those of you who suggest to your clients to leave on background music when their home is on the market, have you thought that you could be wrecking havoc on an introvert’s nervous system while they are scoping out the home?
FUN FACT: A study was conducted with babies and a bottle of sugar water. The sugar water was used to challenge the nervous system of each baby. A group of babies were given bottles full of sugar water, and those babies that produced extra saliva most likely ended up as introverts and those with less saliva most likely ended up extroverts.
Now onto this new word: Ambivert
If you have both introvert and extrovert qualities then you could be an ambivert. An ambivert is someone who fits right smack in the middle. This person in certain situations will need solace, and other situations is perfectly okay with noise. They benefit from chaos that exists in both and introvert’s and extrovert’s world. Psychologists have proven the best salespeople are both introverted and extroverted—ambiverts. These rare people understand and appreciate the opportunity for social situations, but also hone in on the fact we pick up brilliant ideas from those around us and often spend time alone reviewing those conversations. If you fit into this category, CONGRATULATIONS!
How can this information impact your business and personal life? First, take a few moments to think about where in your day to day life you can partner with an introvert or an extrovert. Think business partners, friendships, or even life partners and spouses. The concept of yin and yang holds true when it comes to taking advantage of a partners strengths and weaknesses.
For decades, group thinking was believed to be the best way to brainstorm, but a pattern of studies have proven just the opposite. It is now time to rethink creativity and focus your meetings, classes, and leadership sessions with a new group think mindset. These years of case studies have proven that when people brainstorm by themselves, rather than in a group, it warrants better ideas. Also, in a meeting, three people do 70% of the talking leaving those quite intelligent and able introverts sitting quietly.
How should one conduct meetings or manage with the new group think mindset? Or better yet, how should you conduct yourself at meetings?
If you are an introvert, speak up earlier in the meeting rather than later in the meeting. The first ideas presented in a meeting are often the anchoring ideas and when an introvert sits patiently on the sidelines waiting to speak, their ideas will often get lost in the noise. Also, don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Most extroverts are enthusiastic people, so it is wise to curb your enthusiasm a little. If you are an extrovert who is working closely with an introvert, engage with them one on one, and if you wish to have an introvert speak or present at a meeting be sure give them advanced notice on how to prepare.
Gregarious Leadership vs. Quiet Leadership
We all know the advantages to gregarious salesmanship or gregarious volunteer leadership as most of our leaders or volunteers fit into this category, but we often miss the advantages of a quiet salesmanship or quiet volunteer leadership. A quiet person will ask loads of questions and wants to know how people think.
Don’t be a chameleon. Just because someone is talking loud doesn’t mean you need to mirror their behavior. Just because the other parties in a group comes to the same conclusion doesn’t mean you need to sway your mindset so your views align with the majority.
If you are corralling folks to gather to form a leadership committee or group, rethink old school leadership. The book Good to Great by Jim Collins analyzes best performing businesses in the country. After carefully pulling back the layers of several successful CEOs, it was discovered they all exuded the same core traits: a fierce sense of dedication, were quiet, modest, low key, soft spoken, and shy.
This again proves than an introvert can be a good salesperson, leader, or innovator. An introvert’s passion often gets misunderstood because they internalize it rather than externalize it. They seek passion from other inspiring people and acquiring and digesting information differently than an extrovert.
3 Things You Can Do to Groom an Unlikely Leader
- Rethinking networking and collect kindred spirits. These are people who have a true connection with people. They have an obligation to themselves to have a connection so much more professionally powerful to themselves than a random collection of business cards.
- Have them step outside of their comfort zone, but allow them to schedule time when they are done to recharge or re-stimulate themselves. This allows their nervous systems to resort back into normal and quite healthy balance.
- Know what is in your suitcase both literally or metaphorically. Why did you put those things there? Every so often take those things out of your suitcase and share the people around you. The world needs to understand why you keep special items with you at all times.