The panel discuss introverts and extroverts; why society values extroversion; and their advice for better supporting all personality types in the workplace.

339: Blended – Introverts vs Extroverts: What’s the Difference?

Welcome back to Blended! It’s episode 32, I’m joined by a brand new panel of fantastic professionals and, today, we’re talking about introverts vs extroverts.

Most of us, in our lives and careers, have considered what personality type we are. You might be a self-identifying Type A personality (which I know one or two of my guests today are!) In many workplaces you might even have undergone a personality test, so leadership can get a greater idea of individuals strengths and weaknesses.

And one factor that’s at the core of many personality assessments is whether you are introverted or extroverted. But the introverts vs extroverts question is pretty complex – it’s about way more than if you’re quiet or chatty. And since understanding introversion and extroversion can help you understand yourself and others better, we thought it was a really interesting topic to discuss here on Blended.

So today, our guests will be diving into what these words actually mean and the qualities we associate with them; sharing their own experiences; reflecting on why society values extroversion so highly; and sharing their words of advice for how organizations can better support all personality types in the workplace.




[01.09] Introductions to our Blended panellists.

  • Jennifer – Owner and CEO at The MJW Group
  • Elouise – Partner at Kearney
  • Cathy – Vice president of Women’s Leadership and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at American Bankers Association

[03.48] The group discuss the definitions of introvert and extrovert, and reflect on what the words mean to them.

  • The qualities or personality traits we associate with each
  • Are introverts actually shy?
  • Introverts are impacted, whereas extroverts are activated, by stimuli
  • Combining introvert and extrovert qualities
  • Differing lengths of time you can maintain extroversion
  • Control
  • Small talk
  • Playing the game
  • Exhaustion from social situations

“I’m an introvert… but I’m a public speaker and I love it! But there’s a difference, because it’s a situation that I control… and it’s one-directional.” Elouise

[16.05] The panel talk about labels, and whether there is still value in personality testing in the workplace.

  • Personalities are a journey
  • Pidgeon-holing people
  • Moving beyond labels
  • Self-discovery
  • People first
  • Bias
  • Time, patience and compromise
  • Safe spaces
  • How Elouise’s transition led her to seeming more extroverted, but in reality it was happiness
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility

“Education around how different people communicate in different ways is important. We make assumptions about people based upon how we communicate, our world vision, and we may be inaccurately assessing someone’s confidence, competence or leadership skills because they’re communicating in a different way and we’re interpreting that incorrectly.”  Cathy

[38.21] The group share their personal experiences of introversion and extroversion, and how those experiences have impacted them professionally and personally.

  • Societal celebration of extroversion
  • Feeling self-conscious or ashamed if you don’t speak in a group setting
  • Using note-taking as a safe way to insert your voice
  • Becoming comfortable with not speaking if there’s nothing that needs to be said
  • Putting people on the spot
  • Understanding your own limits

[50.57] The panel reflect on why society values extroversion so highly, and the unseen value of introverts.

  • Not encouraging people to change who they are
  • Acceptance
  • Education
  • Visibility
  • Authenticity
  • Confusing speaking with value
  • Hidden value of introverts
  • Personal energy

“It comes down to politics… he who speaks the loudest gets heard, and that’s encouraged.” Jennifer

[01.01.54] The group share advice for managing introverts and extroverts in the workplace, and being a better colleague.

  • Education
  • Strategies for running meetings
  • Time for quiet reflection
  • Balance
  • Encouragement
  • Boundaries
  • Taking help or opportunities that are offered
  • Self-care
  • Self-belief

[01.08.09] The panel sum-up their thoughts from today’s discussion.

“Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, find the person that you vibe with.” Jennifer



You can connect with Jennifer, Elouise and Cathy and over on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode, why not check out 247: Blended – The Difference Between Culture and Community: What Can We Learn? or 210: Blended – Don’t forget the ‘T’: Talking Trans.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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