Extraverts and Introverts: You CAN Work Together Without Going Nuts

March 24th, 2014 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Building Relationships, Psychological Type No Comments »

It’s an age-old annoyance – that co-worker whose style is irritating. You know it shouldn’t bug you, but it does.

welcomeThere are plenty of sources of irritation. This week, let’s look at one of the most frequent, a fundamental difference between people – where they get their energy.

We all essentially fall into one of two camps, and I bet you can identify which one you are in without the help of a therapist or a sophisticated assessment: extraverts get most of their energy from the outer world of people, while introverts get it from the inner world.

doorbellI once heard a fantastic analogy for this very fundamental difference. It’s so good, I’m passing it on to you. Imagine that you have 20 coins in your pocket at the beginning of the day. Each coin equals one unit of energy. For the extravert, every interaction with another person adds one more coin in the pocket. That’s great for me. I’m an extravert.

But for the introvert, well, he or she has to give up a coin for each interaction. An interaction between an introvert and an extravert is like an ATM machine of energy. It goes out of the introvert and in to the extravert, never to return.

How does this play out at work? This difference can lead to huge leaping conclusions about a co-worker’s intentions. I recently saw this dynamic with one of my client groups.

The extraverts called meetings, but rarely sent an objective or agenda or preparatory materials in advance. The introverts showed up (if they absolutely had to) already feeling shanghaied because they had no opportunity to think about the topic in private.

Repeated requests for materials in advance fell on deaf ears, because the extraverts rarely sat by themselves and read materials in advance of a meeting, so they saw no real value in it.

In the meetings, the extraverts wanted to make decisions and commitments, because they unconsciously trusted what was decided in a group environment more than a private one.

Now the introverts were really feeling fed up. From their perspective, the decision was rushed, and it would be unethical to make an important commitment without taking some private time to reflect on it and critique it. So the day after the meeting, they would start meeting one-on-one with key decision-makers to delay or change the decision that the extraverts had thought was final in the meeting.

End result: the extraverts thought the introverts were political slime and the introverts thought the extraverts were the same.

Here’s how to bridge the divide in meetings:

  1. Whether you’re an extravert or an introvert, send an agenda and materials for preparation in advance. Not an hour in advance – at least a day!
  2. All other things being equal, if you want a sounding board for your ideas before a meeting, ask an extravert, who’s more likely to accommodate your request.
  3. Allow for some interruptions rather than having a firm “no interruptions allowed” rule because extraverts tend to interrupt when they are interested in what someone is saying, and the more excited the extravert gets, the more likely he or she is to interrupt.
  4. Likewise, don’t hesitate to politely but firmly cut off someone who’s talking too long or combining too many points at once.
  5. Don’t go around the room trying to get everyone to participate equally. Introverts will speak up if they feel no one is saying what needs to be said.
  6. In the first meeting on a brand new topic, don’t push for a decision. Ask if people are ready to make a decision or prefer a little time to reflect. If they want the time, give them the time. If you try to deny this, your decision will be undone by introverts doing their ethical duty days after the meeting.
  7. Maintain a little flexibility around process. We think our trusted way of doing things is the best, but really it’s just one of several approaches that will get us to the destination on time.

Always remember this: Introverts think to talk. Extraverts talk to think. Plan accordingly and you may even find you like each other.

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Association for Psychological Type Conference

July 15th, 2011 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in News, Professional Development, Psychological Type No Comments »

Warning! On line registration ends July 29 for the upcoming Association for Psychological Type Conference at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Since this is the last Traveling Light before the conference, this is my last chance to remind you.

I’ll be sharing the stage with Sharon Richmond, Director of the Change Leadership Center of Excellence at Cisco Systems. Sharon and I will reveal the seven must-do’s to create sustainable change, and how and when to use the MBTI® instrument in the change process.

The conference begins with pre-conference workshops on August 10, with the full conference running August 11 – 14. Sharon and I are presenting at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13.

Register for the whole conference or just a day at http://www.aptinternational.org/Conference/Registration.aspx.

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Jennifer Recommends

April 24th, 2011 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Psychological Type No Comments »

One of my favorite tools for helping clients understand their behavior and move toward goals is featured in the Wall Street Journal this week:


Tools such as the MBTI® instrument help us get to the heart of issues quickly without limiting my clients’ individuality, because they are based on patterns of human behavior that have been studied and documented for decades.

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The Best (Bleep) Book on Leadership and Personality Period

November 24th, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Books, Business, Communication, Management, Professional Development, Psychological Type No Comments »

Maybe you’re familiar with the Fox Sports show, The Best (Bleep) Sports Show Period, or as they call it at Fox Sports, “Best D%*m.” I had a little trouble following the conversations around there until I figured this out. I thought they were always excited about something, but wondered what it was since they never seemed to add a noun after the adjectives. However, that’s a story for another day.

I also thought it would be neat if there were a “Best D%*m Business Book Period” show for leaders and consultants. How handy would it be to have all of the latest business books scaled down to a handful of winners, with color commentary by, I don’t know, maybe a former CEO, Dr. Phil, and a reporter from the Financial Times?

The only problem with my idea is that the show would be a cure for insomnia, given how incredibly dull, vague, and repetitive business books tend to be. I admit without guilt that I’ve started more than I’ve finished, since most of the key points have already been made in the first 10 pages.

So imagine the tremendous pride I felt when my colleague, friend, and Selby Group affiliate Sharon Richmond wrote Introduction to Type and Leadership, a focused, tight, insightful, and research-backed book on how your personality type affects your leadership. It’s the Best D%*m Leadership and Personality Book Period. Buy it. Read it. Do what she tells you to do. Go be wildly successful. Simple. Ahhhh….

Give me 10 more authors like Sharon, a retired CEO, Dr. Phil, and a Financial Times reporter, and I just might make that show work after all.

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Update on my research on gender and personality

May 18th, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Business, Communication, Professional Development, Psychological Type, Selby Group No Comments »

Moving on to lighter territory, the publisher of the MBTI®, CPP, Inc., has become a co-sponsor of my research on how gender and personality influence a person’s relationship with money and financial behaviors.

This turbo-charges the depth of the research to a level I could not possibly reach through Selby Group – we’re management consultants, not full-time researchers, whereas CPP has an entire department filled with highly trained and experienced researchers.

An even newer aspect of my collaboration with CPP is that I can now offer free trials of their newest interactive leadership and interpersonal relationship tool to a select group of clients, even before it is officially launched. To apply for a free trial of the new MBTI® ThinkBox, please email us at info@selbygroup.com.

I’m excited to have these opportunities to collaborate with CPP on multiple levels. One of my top personal goals for this year was to engage in at least three meaty collaborations, and my collaboration with CPP has already exceeded my criteria by a good margin.

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Speaking of APTi

February 10th, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Psychological Type No Comments »

Speaking of APTi, I got a sneak peak at the August 5 – 9 conference program, which has just been finalized. This conference is the best kept secret in personal and professional development and the price is so recession-friendly.

The Early Bird registration discount is good through February 14. Click here for a sneak peek at the conference program, which hasn’t been posted for the public yet: http://www.aptinternational.org/assets/2009programfeb209.pdf and here to take advantage of the Early Bird discount: http://www.aptinternational.org/content.asp?p=136.

I’ll be speaking at the conference on the topic of Personal Fulfillment and Financial Security: Hidden Secrets to Have BOTH. If that’s not a timely topic, I don’t know what is.

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My first Association for Psychological Type International board meeting

February 8th, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Psychological Type No Comments »

Lots of happenings these past two weeks!

One big highlight happened on Sunday. My first Association for Psychological Type International board meeting was January 29 – February 1. So what was the big thrill?

Was it getting to work with great gurus of my profession, the authors of Introduction to Type® and Teams, Introduction to Type® and Leadership, Introduction to Type® and Decision Making, What Will I Do With My Money?, The Eight Colors of Fitness, Differentiated Coaching, SoulTypes, 8 Keys to Self-Leadership, Multiple Intelligences and Personality Type: Tools and Strategies for Developing Human Potential, LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are, and countless other titles?

Was it the thrill of directly influencing the future of my profession?

How about the honor of leading? Was it that?

Heck, no. None of this compares with what happened to me at the Dallas airport on Sunday.

Drum roll, please…I, 45-year-old Jennifer Selby Long…GOT CARDED! Yes! Whoo hoo! Oh, yeah, life is good…

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Association for Psychological Type International

January 22nd, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Psychological Type No Comments »

I’ll be out of the office January 29 – February 1, participating in my first Association for Psychological Type International board meeting in Dallas. I’ll also have an opportunity to meet many members of the vibrant local chapter there.

The APTi conference also takes place in Dallas, August 5 – 9, and it’s going to be an amazing development experience, so mark your calendars now and take advantage of the special room rate.Four hundred and fifty professionals who use psychological type in their businesses will converge in the beautiful Dallas Fairmont hotel, along with top Jungian scholars, to further our knowledge about the constructive and ethical use of differences. To learn more about the conference, click on http://aptinternational.org/content.asp?p=133.

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2009 President-Elect

January 14th, 2009 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Psychological Type No Comments »

It’s official. I’m the 2009 President-Elect of the International Association for Psychological Type (www.aptinternational.org), the premier professional association for professionals who use the MBTI® and other Jung-based psychometric instruments in their work as well as a cadre of “type enthusiasts” who may not use personality type in their work, but seek to learn more for their own personal and professional growth. Stay tuned for more news from APTi as I become more deeply immersed in the organization.

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Upcoming Events

September 7th, 2008 Jennifer Selby Long Posted in Business, Psychological Type No Comments »

Do you live in the Portland area? If so, mark your calendar for the morning of October 11. I’ll be speaking on the impact of your psychological type and gender on your financial attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

I became interested in the subject after noticing different patterns between my male and female clients, even when they had achieved equal levels of financial and career success. I went in search of studies that explained why, but there weren’t any, so I did one myself.

What I learned was so important that I share it whenever and wherever I can.

For more information, please visit http://www.portlandapt.org/.

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