An internal team meeting
Susie looked forward to the next planning meeting. She enjoyed the conversation, the interaction and the sharing of ideas.
Jill dreaded the same meeting. It seemed like a waste of time. She never got a word in edge wise, people didn't stay on topic and nothing seemed to really get done!
(Both walk in the room and sit down. Joe welcomes them. Alex and Kent are also present.)
Joe opened the meeting and handed out agendas. First on the list was the upcoming sales event. Joe set the parameters for their brainstorming session and then invited the team to jump in.
Susie: Why don't we pick a unifying theme because...
Alex (interrupts): You always want a theme. (Everyone laughs, Jill just smiles) Let's continue with our annual theme and find a new twist.
Kent: We need to find a way to make it really pop..
Susie: How about bringing in someone famous and...
Joe: It fits the budget. A sports figure might work or ...
Alex: I'm thinking that we need something a little more unique.
The four of them talked non-stop barely taking a breath it seemed. They were laughing and energetic. They talked over each other and interrupted but no one seemed to mind - except Jill.
Joe turned to Jill: What do you think, Jill? You usually have well thought out ideas.
Jill: Well, I think we need to keep the goal for the event in mind before we get too much into the details. After all,...
Kent (interrupts Jill mid-sentence): What do you guys think of really trying something new that reaches both current customers and touches new customers...
Alex: They are different targets. We could..
They were off and running again. To Jill it didn't seem like they cared about her input or ideas. She had some pertinent input as the conversation unfolded but before she could jump in the group discussion had moved three topics ahead.
What's going on in this meeting?
Extroverts think out loud. Interrupting is part of talking to the extrovert. The constant interaction and the interruptions create the energy and stimulate the conversation. Most extroverts don't feel offended by (and most of the time don't even notice) the interruptions. For the extroverts, as they hear their own thoughts and others input, it helps them to refine their thoughts and opinions.
Introverts think on the inside. They plan what they want to say before they say it. They need space in the conversation before they speak. Introverts consider interrupting rude. They don't think out loud and determine their opinions internally. Once these are formulated, they are ready to share. They like to participate in the conversation but need pauses in the interaction and time to think.
Can you relate?
So, which of these two do you prefer? Extroversion and introversion doesn't relate to whether you are a people person or like to talk. It's all about where you get your energy from. For extroverts, their energy comes from the outer world - the people, interaction, conversation and group activities. For introverts, their energy comes from the inner world - thoughts, ideas, silence and alone time.