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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 would first of all like to "second" the comments of Martha Love. She is right on the mark. I am an introvert and have found myself in numerous leadership positions throughout my life. These have usually been situations where I was asked to be the leader. I came to realize it was because at some level others understood I would be reasoned, balanced, and measured in my role. My first was also as president of my college fraternity where I experienced similar challenges working with the extroverts. What I wish someone had told me then that I came to learn much later in life is to simply let extroverts know that you need time and a bit of space to think things through. I learned to use these moments as an opportunity to teach by offering the knowledge of how the two personality types work as Martha shared. Once extroverts understood the difference they came to value my capabilities and approach.
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      Mar 7 2012: Thank you, Jeffrey. I have since left my role as president (my time had come,) but as an active undergraduate, I'm trying to learn how we can better incorporate all of our leadership styles into the group.

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