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Extroversion vs. Introversion: Learning How to Adapt to a Client’s Personality

As a business, The Strong Firm understands the value of knowing and utilizing personality types within the firm to promote synergy amongst the staff in order to meet client objectives and deadlines.  Recently, the firm brought in a personality assessment specialist to administer the Myer Briggs personality assessment test on all employees.  Not only was it interesting to learn the different personality types within the office, it also encouraged each of us to be cognizant of how we can be more effective with communicating to clients with different personality types than our own.  After a few initial discussions with a client, you should have a good idea whether they are an introvert or extrovert.  Here are a few common characteristics associated with each personality type:

Introvert:

  • Examiner, Keeps to self, Quiet, Deliberate, Internally aware, Prefers smaller groups, Not socially inclined, Enjoys solitude, Thinks before speaking
  • Well-known introverts: Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein

Extrovert:

  • Assertive, Talkative, Likes groups, parties, social events, etc., Energized by interaction, Expressive, Volunteers personal information, Distractible, Has many friends, Easy to approach.
  • Well-known extroverts: Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton.

Personally, I am a textbook extrovert, I think and talk out loud, love socializing one on one or at large events, and generally consider myself an open book.  When I work with an introverted client, I am mindful of our personality differences and try to take that into consideration throughout our representation.  If you are a fellow extrovert like me, consider taking the following approaches when working with an introvert personality: (i) respect the introvert’s reserve and privacy; (ii) deal with an introvert one on one rather than in large group settings; and (iii) allow an introvert to process information on their own, do not pressure an introvert to make a quick decision on the spot without allowing time to process.  Alternatively, if you are an introvert and find yourself working with an extrovert personality, consider the following approaches to improve communication: (i) allow an extrovert to explore and talk things out; (ii) offer an extrovert more than one option to consider; and (iii) accept and encourage an extrovert’s enthusiasm.

The world would be a boring place if we were all the same, so take this opportunity to understand your personality type and learn how you can be a more effective communicator with your clients going forward.

Kyla Wilder

Phone: 281-367-1222

Fax: 281-210-1361

[email protected]

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