Think. Speak. Repeat. Why Introverts Rule.

I’ve spent most of my adult life believing I’m an extrovert (thank you, Meyers Briggs). Yet my best stuff—the most original, bad-ass ideas—comes when the noise is off. Solo. In introvert space.

Susan Cain covers this waterfront in “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

If you’re not sure where you are on the scale (and can live without scientific validity), try her Quiet Quiz.

Bottom line: introversion is highly underrated.

In my practice, the most successful clients—consultants, authors and artists—are often introverts at heart. Their unique value—and their best content—comes from deep study, focused creation or both. Their introversion is the very thing that allows them the space to create work that matters.

And work that sells.

The challenge?

Putting themselves in the limelight in the right doses.

Situational extroverts can be wildly successful. They have the introversion needed to create deep and meaningful content, but push themselves (often to their unexpected delight) to take the stage to share their wisdom, wit and art.

Stand-up comics and musicians who write their own material are classic situational extroverts. But there is also the author who has done deep, original research and takes to the lecture circuit to spread the word. Or the expert who plays media commentator when hot stories break.

Got a big, well-executed idea? Maybe—just maybe—a little push on the extroversion button will get you a bigger audience.

Think. Speak. Repeat.

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6 Responses to Think. Speak. Repeat. Why Introverts Rule.

  1. Mark Frederick says:

    I like the concept of “situational extroversion”.

    That makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve been finding that many people have qualities of both introvert and extrovert, making them ambiverts, or a blend of both.

    As you say, the trick becomes when to adapt the qualities in various situations “in the right doses”.

    Thanks for your post!

  2. And I like “ambiverts” Mark–I’m going to use that one 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

  3. Corey Bearak says:

    Took the test.

    Got labeled an “I” — Read the definition for “I’s” and “E’s” and felt both fit me.

    Perhaps the answer lies in fitting oneself to either extreme where it works and knowing when to blend appropriately (some level of the (ambi”).

    Thus perhaps Mark (7/9 at 10:41 p.m.) should extend “situational” to introversion as well as extroversion.

    And this discussion brings me back to reading B.F. Skinner in my junior year in high school who emphasized extremes in behavior; I quickly learned that rather than painting things black or white, as The Monkees sang, it was only Shades of Gray.

  4. Like any scale, being in the middle is –theoretically–easier. There is more room to maneuver if you’re not hanging out at either end. But we can only push our natural inclinations so far–to remain authentic while creating optimum situations for success. Delicate balance!

  5. I have never heard of a “Situational Extrovert” – But that explains a lot.

  6. Hi Jon–and welcome! It may simply be my practice–but I do know a lot of “situational extroverts”. They tend to be deep thinkers with a point of view that means enough to them that they put themselves on public platforms. And, often, actually enjoy it because they are spreading the ideas that matter most to them….

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