The long assumption has been that some people are shy and some others are outgoing; that people just are either of these, not a semblance of both. Yet, as we’ve all come to realise, people are too complicated to be considered one or the other – rather, we should talk about the kinds of behaviour we’re more likely to display, not what we will or always display.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein writes that we might need a new category, too.
“The personality traits of extroversion and introversion fall on a spectrum, and most of experts’ focus has been on the two ends. Now, social psychologists, behavioral scientists and business experts are taking a closer look at the overlooked category smack in the middle—ambiversion—and deciding that people with this trait may have some personal and professional advantages for being adaptable.”
Many of us self-identify, as either introvert or extravert, but – as many are indicating – there’s more to this story.
What’s key is figuring out what this means in our work life, though. We assume that, for example, being introverted might make working in business world as somewhat harder: We assume that because introverts are shyer, tend to prefer isolation, and so on, they would not be able to engage or network and so on. But some think this can be turned on its head to make businesses run efficiently.
Dorie Clark, speaking to Forbes, recommends introverts leverage their focus on quality to drive their networking.
“The first thing introverts can do is ensure they’re talking to fewer strangers in the first place. There are plenty of new and interesting people to meet who already have some connection to you, so ask for suggestions from friends and colleagues about who they know that they think you should connect with.”
Connecting isn’t just a good addition to business, but essential. This should be included as part of a general focus on improving your business. Just as you would try make your clients’ lives easier by implementing systems that make things like payment easier – making payment details easy, using a debit order, and so on – so you should not let “being an introvert” limit your ability to a better networker.
Networking is essential for business growth: It introduces you to the right contacts and thus can have enormous benefits for your business. For example, you might meet someone who is not only more professional at getting certain materials you need, but cheaper. Lower costs and higher quality means better customer service, more profits and so on.
Thus, alongside efficient systems that manage finances, you also need better personal systems to manage yourself as a business person. Regardless of your personality, you need to be focusing on engaging with people first.