The Extroverts have Left the Building!

July 28, 2011

INTROVERT

EXTROVERT

Ben Introvert Goshow Evan Extrovert McBroom
Ben "Introvert" Goshow working. Evan "Extrovert" McBroom working. 
   

If your organization is anything like Fishhook in the summer, you probably wonder each morning: "Now, who's here today? Who will be on vacation next week?" Typically, when a team member is on vacation, we miss them, but things are still normal around the office. But, when several people (in a company of seven) are gone, it feels a lot different.

Recently a crazy thing happened: our extroverts (Adam, Evan, Jen and Leah) were all away the same week. So, Fishhook World Headquarters was filled with just Ben, Megan and me. We observed a couple of interesting things that week:

First, it's quiet when the extroverts are gone. A common myth about introverts is that we don’t like to talk. It's not that we don't like to talk - we just don’t talk unless we have something to say. We don't thrive on small talk. Extroverts are really good at asking about your weekend or sharing stories from theirs. So, with the extroverts away, Ben, Megan and I had no idea what the others did over the weekend (joking, we asked ... eventually!).

Secondly, introverts get a lot of work done when the extroverts are gone. Introverts have naturally busier, more active brains than extroverts. Although we may look calm on the surface, our brains are bubbling with activity, and thus we require less external stimulation than extroverts. Believe it or not, blood flows in different paths in introverted and extroverted brains. Introverts have more blood flow, but it flows in a longer, slower path than in extroverted brains. The blood in introverted brains flows to sections that are focused on internal things like remembering, solving problems and planning (Introverts in the Church). Since there was no noise and talking from the extroverts, our productivity went up!

Finally, just because the extroverts were gone, doesn't mean we didn't miss them! Although introverts are perfectly comfortable with our own thoughts, we can also get incredibly lonely if we don’t have anyone to share our discoveries with. We crave an authentic and sincere connection - just typically with a small group over a large group. Evan, Leah, Jen and Adam are a great balance to Ben, Megan and me. We may approach projects and people differently, but together, we are Force Fishhook!

Author
Lindsay Dudeck

Lead Communications Strategist