The way we respond to situations falls into two different preferred way of behaving according to psychoanalyst Carl Jung- Introversion and Extraversion. These two types of behaviour are part of the four main traits of personality identified by the Clarity4D colour model. The following headings and bullet points will outlay the differences between both personality types.
Creates their energy from within
Thinks and reflects first, then acts
Requires regular ‘private time’
Prefers one-to-one communication
Creates their energy from the external world
Acts first and reflects later
Enjoys a wide variety of activities
Is energised by working with other people
There seems to be a contentious disparity about society's preference for the extraverted behaviour type over introversion. As mentioned in Susan Cain’s book “Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that cannot stop talking” – even from early education there is little consideration for the learning environment of children with an introverted preference. In the business world, growth is the primary concern and many roles are sales and customer service-led which demand a high-level of interpersonal and verbal interactions, and a liking for reaching sales targets – all extraverted attributes.
Introverts meanwhile, work best in environments where their preferences for reflection and analysis allow them to support the business in an unobtrusive way which might involve the use of technology and working remotely. This reduction and simplification of involvement is a double-edged sword for introverts. On the one hand, they can complete their duties in an environment which suits them, but on the other hand this might create a sense of isolation and not being part of the team.
Ambivalence is a middle-ground alternative to introversion and extraversion- and a trait commonly integrated to suit a person's environment. Comfortable in social mingling and spending time alone- the balancing act of ambivalence ensures the best of both worlds. Tailoring ambivalence into everyday life is harmonious and can provide solidarity when it is needed, and means you can be kept busy no matter who or what is around you at any given time.
A healthy blend of introversion and extraversion can keep deep-seeded rumination at bay while making alone time nourishing enough to stave off boredom. Getting into such habits is key to a balanced and fulfilling life, but maintaining it is important a positive mental health state- so implementing it is certainly worthwhile.
The key thing to remember is, whether your preference is for introversion or extraversion, there is a always a place for both in a team and when we balance our preferences with ambivalence it not only helps our stress levels, but can also add to the performance of the team.