I sat next to a brilliant PhD at a recent men’s breakfast and he made an insightful statement that struck a chord with me.
We chatted about the master’s degree I’m pursuing in neuroleadership and about his shift from chemistry to software development. During that conversation I felt prompted to ask him if he was an introvert. He responded with a quick, “Definitely.” After I suggested he read the book Quiet, the Power of Introverts he responded with, “Oh yea. I’ve heard about that on NPR. I’ll have to get it.”
As we finished our bacon and pancakes we talking about what it was like being an introvert (we both qualify). Then he made this striking statement.
I think extroverts think introverts should be like them.
I paused a moment and then exclaimed, “Yea, you’re right. They do.” Something inside my subconscious immediately resonated with his statement. We didn’t have long to unpack his thought, but the more I mulled over it the more it made sense.
The idea probably lacks scientific basis and is anecdotal at best, but it seems to ring true. As an introverted pastor, yet with good people skills, occasionally I’ve felt subtle pressure from extroverted leaders to become more extroverted.
But the dynamic goes both ways as well. I admit that I’ve also wished I were more extroverted at times. So, could this corollary be true?
Introverts wish they were more like extroverts.
As I finish reading Quiet I’ll continue to post my thoughts on the introverted leader.
What do you think about these two statements? Do you agree? Disagree?
Related post: Introverts Don’t make Good Pastors