Communicating as a Leader

Access Your Power In Communicating Using Personality Type

Pamela Hollister asked:

Communication is central to our life – we communicate with others every day, throughout the day. Understanding, appreciating and accommodating personality differences in communication style can bring major success to our effectiveness as a friend, spouse, employee, supervisor, trainer, leader and team member. People have different preferences in the way they take in and evaluate information and their orientation to the world around them. As we develop our awareness, understanding and appreciation of communication differences, we will reap the benefit in our relationship with others.

Extraverts & Introverts are opposite in how they communicate

Extraverts are energized by lively and enthusiastic discussions, with rapid-paced conversation and often interrupt as they elaborate on and process thoughts. Introverts are energized by quiet conversations with space for reflection and conversation pace is slower, taking time as they build thoughts and ideas internally. Extraverts’ communication approach doesn’t allow time for Introverts to reflect and then give their opinions. Extraverts like to “think out loud” and don’t realize that Introverts feel unable to respond quickly in a conversation, preferring to internalize the information first. Thus, the Extraverts’ reaction sometimes is that the Introvert is not providing input that energizes the Extravert.

How Introverts & Extraverts share information

When Introverts share information, it has been carefully thought through and evaluated. When an Extravert is in the-thinking out loud-mode they may not give the input the full evaluation it merits. Similarly, Introverts may put too much emphasis on what is said by Extraverts, not realizing they are-hearing themselves think-and need to process information this way. This can cause difficulties for both preferences as Extraverts may miss valuable contributions by Introverts, and Introverts may take what Extraverts say too seriously and make decisions based on the input.

Communication differences can create conflict

These communication differences can be especially dangerous in conflict situations, as Extraverts want to handle a situation immediately and Introverts require time to think things through before giving their ideas on possible solutions. Because each preference is requiring something the other type does not prefer, tension can increase. Extraverts can become impatient, wanting to move forward and make a decision not giving time to the Introverts who need to process the information internally and, then, make a decision.

Extraverts in communication


Energetic & enthusiastic

Think out loud

Give a lot of information

Network well

Communication Approach

Speak out freely in groups

Think out loud

Like to discuss lots of topics

Interrupt often during discussion

When Communicating with Extraverts

Listen attentively

Be actively responsive

Be energetic & enthusiastic

Support their need to communicate

Introverts in communication


Quiet, reflective presence

Respond carefully and thoughtfully

Know a few people well

Listen without interrupting

Communication Approach

Listen more than talk

Talk one on one

Need time to reflect before responding

Process information internally

When Communicating with Introverts

Value their need for privacy

Allow them time to change focus

Ask questions to draw them out

Do not pressure for an instant response

With careful study of the preferences for the Extravert and Introvert, and a little bit of practice, our communicative events can be both positive and productive creating harmony throughout our professional and personal lives.

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