In a previous issue we discussed Networking & Introverts, so this article focuses on extroverts in order to see how the two personalities can network together. We described an introvert as a person who tends to turn inward mentally, sometimes avoid large groups of people, and feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an introvert (antonym) or at least a different personality is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others and is very comfortable networking in small or large groups. They are described as livewires, socializers, befrienders, outgoing, gregarious, and assertive. Networking is exciting to extroverts while it may seem overwhelming to introverts. The world in divided in approximately 50% introverts and 50% extroverts. Neither type is better; they just process information in a different manner.
What happens when the two personality types meet? Sometimes the extrovert feels a need to change the introvert, to make them a more spontaneous, exciting, interacting individual. It you are an extrovert, please stop trying to change the introverts. Be patient. You will find many successful entrepreneurs are introverts. Sometimes extroverts are perceived as an interesting person you would like to get to know better and develop a business relationship with and other times they can be overpowering or boring.
Here are some ideas that may help extroverts be more accepted and less likely to be perceived as someone to move away from.
One of the first rules of networking is the 70/30 rule which means listening 70% of the time and asking questions 30% of the time. Remember, whoever asks the questions (the right questions), controls the conversation. There is no reason to dominate the time with your presentation. You will be much more effective when you learn more about the person you are talking with. Ask questions to learn their wants and need and never ask personal or invasive questions. Put the attention on them rather than you. Listen intently, stay focused on them, and never interrupt.
Have you noticed when you are conversing with an introvert they often stop to process information while extroverts tend to think out loud? One of the most powerful techniques in speaking is the use of the “Pause”, stopping the conversation briefly. If you have been talking, then pause, this allows the other person the opportunity to respond and they will appreciate it. Every extrovert should read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Decision making is a complimentary process involving both persons. Extroverts may tend to act quickly without considering other people’s views. Sometimes if you may determine the conversation is going nowhere the first several minutes, you may decide to just leave the person a business card and wait for a better time to reconnect.
Body language and tonality tell the other person a lot about you. Remember people make at least 11decisions about you in the first few seconds. Maybe you need to tone down your usual gregarious personality. Let people know you really appreciate their thoughts. Give them personal space. Shaking hands is an allowable body contact and using the technique with discretion will win friends. Be gentle with women and more firm with men. Many politicians add the second hand on top of the handshake in the process.
Did you know introversion and extroversion have roots in antiquity? About 350 BC Greek physician Hippocrates theorized about four fundamental personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. The basis for his theory was later rejected but some personality type systems continue to use four or more categories of a similar nature. Study personal profiles like the D.I.S.C. system to see how you can best see from the other person’s viewpoint. Read Positive Personality Profiles: D-I-S-C-over Personality Insights to Understand Yourself and Others! by Dr. Robert A. Rohm. Extroverts and introverts can actually complement each other. Many successful marriages are made by a combination of the two types.
While Introversion and Extroversion are the most common forms of personality traits, there are as many as 64 different combination types and you would benefit from learning more about these different personalities. No one is 100% one personality of another. We are all composites. Using a personality profile test can indicate a tendency or a predominate type and a secondary type, which may be helpful to you in networking.
Remember, if you are an extrovert, watch for the indicators that could sabotage a potentially profitable business relationship with an introvert.
See you at the networking events.