On Being an Ambivert

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Just some thinking out loud…



Spending a lot of time at conferences, I have been thinking a lot about my own learning style.  When people ask me to work in groups, get up and move around, I automatically feel uncomfortable.  Always have.  Yet I am extremely comfortable speaking to a large group.  I feel one is forced and the other is just something I would do. As I have started to look at my own learning style, I have started to think about the idea of being an “ambivert” and how I am more comfortable with this.  Right now, I am writing this post with my headphones on while a lot of people walk around.  I appreciate the audio and visual stimulation of the environment but feel I focus best when I am in my own head.  

The need to reflect is imperative.

I need my alone time.  

Yet, the opportunity to share and connect with others is also crucial.  I know we need both skills, but sometimes when I seem the most “checked out” I am actually the most “dialed in.”


I love these thoughts from a recent Forbes article on the benefit of being an ambivert in business:



…extroverts pour it on a bit too thick for their own good, and this tendency negates any charismatic advantages they might otherwise enjoy. For example, their overflowing enthusiasm for the sale can cause them to not listen closely enough to the needs of the customer, and this in turn hurts their chances of closing the sale. Because ambiverts embody traits from both sides of the personality spectrum–in a sense, they have a built in ‘governor’ that regulates their exuberance–they don’t trip over the obstacles that handicap their more extroverted counterparts. “The ambivert advantage stems from the tendency to be assertive and enthusiastic enough to persuade and close, but at the same time, listening carefully to customers and avoiding the appearance of being overly confident or excited,” Grant said.



I am not saying that we should try to develop student skills as both extroverts and introverts.  What I do believe is that it is sometimes important to recognize where you are at on that spectrum.


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