It’s lunchtime and you’ve had a busy and stressful morning. Do you a) head out on your own for some fresh air and some thinking time or b) head to the staff canteen with a bunch of workmates for a chat and a laugh?
Introversion and Extraversion are often referred to in the context of whether or not someone is sociable but in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) it’s all about where people get their energy from. For some people, the more they are ‘used’, the greater their energy (a bit like a car battery which is charged by the car being used). For others, being ‘used’ drains their energy and they then need to recharge (a bit like a mobile phone battery).
Whichever is your preference, it’s just that, a preference. It doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of restoring your energy in other ways, just that your preference is your preferred way to do it.
Sometimes preferences for Introversion and Extraversions can clash in the workplace. For example, often those with a preference for introversion (getting their energy from within) will have a preference to work quietly, independently and in a focussed manner whereas those with a preference for extraversion (getting their energy from others) will have a preference to work collaboratively, chatting ideas through as they go. Again, this doesn’t mean that those with a preference for introversion can’t work collaboratively, nor does it mean that those with a preference for extraversion can’t work independently, just that it’s their preferred way of working.
So next time you’re feeling the need to recharge your energy, notice what your preference is – and if you’re asking a colleague or friend to join you for some social time to help you wind down and they decline, consider that they may too have had a hectic time and need some time on their own to recharge their batteries first!
If you’d like to undergo a Myers Briggs (MBTI) assessment, either individually or as a team, contact me today to discover more.