5 Things Every Introvert Should Know about Extroverts (and Vice Versa)

Picture this: You arrive in a conference room bustling with your colleagues and bosses. The meeting begins and everyone else is piping up, pontificating, and jockeying for attention in a spirited discussion while you’re sitting there contemplating what you might add to the dialog. In fact, your best thoughts gel only after the meeting ends.

Elbow Room and Open Doors: Introvert- and Extrovert-Friendly Workspaces

Would you rather work in a Batcave or a trading pit? What’s the middle ground? “There’s much talk about open spaces and constant collaboration—things that would stress out the introvert,” says David Herron, one of my readers in Dallas. He asks, “What would the ideal startup office look like if it was designed by an introvert whose staff consisted of both introverts and extroverts*?” Great question. I will take a crack at it for startups as well as more established organizations.

The Quieter Half Speaks Up

“Perceptual biases lead us all to overestimate the number of extraverts among us (they are noisy and hog the spotlight),” according to Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D., in her cover story, titled “Revenge of the Introverts,” in the October issue of Psychology Today. By now, you probably know that introverts actually make up half the population.

A Nod and a Wag to “Introvets”

I love playing with words and just coined one to describe 70% to 80% of the doctors who care for our four-legged friends: “introvets.” Here’s a snippet from a new article, titled “In Praise of ‘Introvets,'” I wrote for the Exceptional Veterinary Team magazine: “You’re confident in your ability to talk to the animals—a turn of phrase immortalized by the classic film Dr. Dolittle. Yet, speaking ‘elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle, alligator, guinea pig, and flea’ will only get you so far in your veterinary practice. To succeed, you’ll also need to be fluent in chatty client, crabby client, irresponsible client, and inconsolable client. Not to mention all stripes of associates and colleagues.” I interviewed four veterinarians from around the United States who share their secrets to success as practice owners who are introverts. You can glean useful insights whether or not you’re an introvet. Whynotamous?

Secrets to a Successful Introvert-Extrovert Team

If you had to guess, which of the women in the photograph to the left is an introvert and which is an extrovert*? Can you tell?

If you subscribed to the myth of introverts being antisocial, neither looks the role. However, if you were better informed and knew that the main difference between introverts and extroverts is where they draw their energy—introverts from their solo time and extroverts from their social time—you’d look further.

Interview with an Irreverent Introvert

Meet Larry Underwood*, the founding father of Enterprise Rent-a-Car in the Desert Southwest. We’re chatting about his 26-year experience as an irreverent senior corporate manager who some people might be surprised to learn is an introvert.

He doesn’t like meetings. But he likes to make people laugh. He inspires his staff, takes care of his customers, and knows how make an operation wildly profitable. And he doesn’t always go with the flow.
Underwood’s most recent achievement is his book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, which offers a glimpse behind the curtain from his days at Enterprise.

Here’s how I connected with Underwood. I recently launched my first book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®. A few weeks before my book was even available at bookstores, I found my first customer review on Amazon, which Underwood wrote.

Introverts and Extroverts: Big Clash or Perfect Mesh?

As a follow-on to her recent story about the power of introverts and extroverts remaining true to their stripes, Sarah Treleaven asks me questions of a more personal nature in her latest story, “How to Care for Your Introvert/Extrovert Partner,” on AOL’s That’s Fit. Specifically, we explore relationships between introverts and extroverts. Are they a big clash or a perfect mesh? Whether you’re more energized by reading a book or speed-dialing your acquaintances just to say, “hello,” you’ll do better by understanding, appreciating, and even celebrating the ways you complement your opposite. Many of the tips I share apply to achieving harmony and greater productivity between introverts and extroverts in the workplace as well.

10 Ways Introverts Can Promote Themselves to Extroverts

I picture myself at the old Algonquin Roundtable with pundits from my circle, and we’re discussing how introverts can promote themselves to Jo(e) Extrovert—who, incidentally, is busy working the room. See what Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines, Seth Godin, marketing guru and internationally bestselling author, and the other super savvy business brains share in this new free excerpt from Self-Promotion for Introverts® on Monster.com.

Musings of an Introvert Publisher, Part 2

In the first part of this three-part interview, you met Gary Krebs, an introvert who sells for a living. Dealmaker by day and homebody on weekends, Krebs climbed the ladder from an entry-level editorial job to vice president and group publisher at McGraw-Hill Professional. Along the way, he moonlighted as the author of a book about rock stars. Now his form of rock and roll is making deals with authors and agents, mentoring his editors, and moving books from concept to cash register. He uses words, mostly spoken, to inspire, persuade, and sell. How does he do that as an introvert? Read on.

Musings of an Introvert Publisher, Part 3

He doesn’t fit the unfortunate stereotype of an introvert. He’s not shy or maladroit. He doesn’t cower when you talk to him. In fact, he loves to tell stories, make deals, and mentor his team. We’re back with Gary Krebs, an introvert who has climbed the ladder in the publishing world. Currently, as vice president and group publisher at McGraw-Hill Professional, he persuades and sells for a living—and recharges his energy during his quiet time.

Are you thinking of writing a book, possibly even your first one? Today Krebs will offer his perspective on how to become a successful author—with special insights for introverts. For additional tips for first-time authors as well as insights from literary agents and publicists, check out my earlier story, “So You Want to Write a Book?”