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Introverted vs Extroverted

By Ben Kubicek,

I have a theory that a majority of database professionals and developers are introverts. When you look up the definition of an introvert, it isn’t particularly helpful. Still, I think it is important in your workplace to realize if you are introverted or extroverted. I have two questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which one you might be.

The first question is: Do people wear you out? I am not talking just about larger crowds, but just people in general. If you feel exhausted or drained after spending time with people, there is a good chance you are an introvert. The opposite is true for extroverts. They get charged up and energized by people.

The second question is: Do people have to ask you specific questions to get you to talk about things? You may have an opinion on something, but you won’t share it unless someone asks you what your opinion might be. An extrovert might be more likely to share their opinion, even if no one asked for it. An introvert may have trouble talking about themselves, where an extrovert talks freely about everything going on in their lives. Of course, this is a generalization, which means it isn’t always true, there will always be exceptions.

So why does this matter? Well first, for all you introverts out there (I am one too), you can still choose to be more extroverted. There is probably nothing you can do about being drained by people, but you can communicate your opinions, when appropriate, even if no one asked. Communication is important and keeping things to yourself really doesn’t help anybody. I suppose if the thoughts you are keeping to yourself are negative ones about why this or that idea won’t work, perhaps you should keep that to yourself. I am talking about positive communication, solutions to issues, ideas that might help. Or potential pit falls being raised in a way to make people aware, but not trying to condemn the project to failure.

For all you extroverts out there, recognize which co-workers are more introverted and don’t dominate your conversations with them. Ask more specific questions realizing that some people need to be asked before they will share what they think. Extroverts might keep in mind; they should sometimes take a moment to think before they speak.

I think it is important for both introverts and extroverts to exists in a workplace. I fear that when introverts are in the majority, communication suffers. I think by understanding your own personality and that of your co-workers you can better communicate and elicit better communication from those around you. Share whether you are an introvert or an extrovert and why you believe that?

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