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Michael Ullinger

Student - B.S - Computer Science, Baldwin-Wallace College

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How do you deal with introvert vs. extrovert tensions?

When I was president of my fraternity in college, I noticed a lot of tension between myself and some of the extroverts in leadership positions. They often felt that I wasn't moving fast enough, or that I couldn't make decisions effectively. As an introvert, how do you convey to people that you need time and space to make effective decisions? As an extrovert, how do you work with people that you feel aren't deciding things quickly enough? Are there other things that make you feel tension between introverts and extroverts?


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    Mar 7 2012: Michael, I am an extrovert and I would want an introvert on my team any day. While I'm out there responding first to the public, the introvert is figuring out a better plan. It takes both to make the best teams and we depend on each other for our different gifts, as Isabel Myers in her MBTI called the type differences. Extroverts don't mind surprises because we like to learn through trial and error, where as introverts like to think before acting and like to have a plan. You don't always have time for thinking up a plan but you sure need one in the long run, well as soon as possible. Two extroverts might just jump off a cliff together, go too far out on a limb without enough forethought, but an introvert on the team will always bring you back before you go too far out. Of course, don't ever try to stop an introvert once they get a plan of action! Introverts can be some truly powerful people. So extroverts need to allow introverts to introspect and introverts need to respect the extroverts quick movements. Just remember, we extroverts get in and out of trouble 10 times to your once, and it may feel different for us to be learning through trial and error than if it were you. So please don't scold us for not thinking enough before we act and we will enjoy your abilities to take your time introspecting and mulling over ideas before acting. It is a different learning style that we have and we need each other.

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