Introverts vs Extroverts

“Why does it matter where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum? Because introversion and extroversion are at the heart of human nature. And when you make life choices that are congruent with your temperament, you unleash vast stores of energy.”   –Susan Cain

What is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert, and why do these differences matter in choosing a life coach?

• Introverts need to process their thoughts & feelings internally before sharing them with others. They thrive on sharing with just one or two people at a time. Extroverts need to process their thoughts & feelings by verbalizing them to others. They thrive on brainstorming.

Introverts are energized by their inner world — focusing deeply on ideas of interest to them. Extroverts are energized by the outer world — by interactions with people and being actively engaged in the world around them.

Introverts relish times of solitude, and use it to “refuel.” They can feel depleted by large social gatherings. Extroverts are fueled by social interaction, and can feel bored and lonely in times of solitude.

• In coaching, introverts tend to love writing assignments and questions for reflection. Extroverts tend to prefer action-oriented approaches that get them “doing” something as a means of understanding.

Introverts are uncomfortable being over-stimulated. They tend to seek more quiet, less interruption, smaller gatherings, less action, more downtime. Extroverts are uncomfortable being under-stimulated. They enjoy large social gatherings, seek novelty and excitement, prefer multi-tasking, and become impatient with slow and repetitive activities.

To “speak the language” of introverts:
–  ask, then listen
–  give them time to reflect
–  don’t interrupt them
–  recognize they often need to be asked for their ideas or opinions, they may not simply offer them

To “speak the language” of extroverts:
–  let them talk
–  include variety
–  keep a lively pace
–  recognize that they appreciate and enjoy attention