On Friday, I received this message: Is tomorrow’s dot about your extrovert BFF and how we work have learned to work so beautifully together????” 

What a great idea!

As I wrote yesterday, extroverts and introverts gather their energy from different sources. In a training or workshop setting, it is important to take both temperaments into account and provide activities that allow everyone to flourish. What better way to do that than by having an introvert and extrovert design the training together?

For many years, my BFF and I did sessions together on training the trainer. I wore solid navy. She wore bright colored florals. I had neat stacks of props and let’s just say hers were more fluid. I had notes and sections timed out; she was spontaneous. I facilitated the exercises that required more reflection; she generated the energy to get the group engaged.

While we now do an abundance of training on our own, those early lessons from training together help us to be aware of the mix of material that helps everyone to learn. We both incorporate elements in our sessions that appeal more to the opposite temperament as ours, and are consciously aware of introversion/extroversion in our training design. 

Think about this dichotomy the next time you are presenting before a group. Have you allowed some time for introverts to think before they need to respond? Have you incorporated hands on activities for the extroverts to express themselves through talking? Can you provide materials for post-session reflection and seek on-site feedback verbally?

There are many ways to honor the needs and desires of both introverts and extroverts, and embracing this kinetic relationship can eventually influence not only your training, but your work patterns and even fashion choices. Take a lesson from these polar opposites that great synergy can come from incorporating the strengths of each.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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