Why you MUST Ask an EX and an IN

Womens-leadership-speaker-Colette-CarlsonYou missed the staff meeting and need to get the scoop on what was shared. Who do you turn to? Your extroverted, high-energy co-worker who seems to be in-the-know when it comes to office updates and juicy drama? That might be your first instinct. And if you want to know how staff reacted to news shared during the meeting, definitely check in with your outgoing pal. But guess what? If you need to know concrete details from the meeting – facts and numbers – you’re better off checking with the introspective, quiet guy, according to recent research.

As a keynote speaker who teaches communication, I was interested in the results of the study in which 40 employees of a company in Amsterdam were shown five photos depicting ambiguous social situations and given as long as they wanted to describe each photo. Three days later, the participants also completed a personality questionnaire.

Introverts were far more likely than extroverts to use specific, descriptive language and also used more numbers and references to specific people. Extroverts, on the other hand, tended to describe the photos in terms that were rated by an independent coder as more abstract, and they engaged in more interpretation, describing things not directly visible in the pictures. The extroverts drew conclusions from the pictures, making judgment calls that could not necessarily have been backed up by what they saw.

The upshot? If you want to know about, say, a project’s details, check in with your more quiet co-worker. If you want to get a read on peoples’ receptivity to the project, ask your boisterous buddy. Between the two, you might feel as if you were in attendance. Mmm, another time management tip?


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at http://www.ColetteCarlson.com or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. GREAT information, Colette! I would definitely be on that extroverted side describing things in emotional subjective pictures. I am reminded to check in with my left-brained, introverted friends. Whoops. Wait a minute. I don't have any.  Ha ha. Not true.

  2. I'm with Linda – I'd be on the 'It was a great meeting!  Awesome!' and then would provide a big fat goose egg of details if asked.  It's a really good idea to ask both types though if you miss a meeting!

  3. Now it gets interesting if you ask the introvert to describe the extrovert's behaviour during the meeting and vice versa!  Of course, that idea is coming from an extrovert – me.  Very interesting indeed!

  4. Awesome post Colette. I'm guessing I would NOT be the quiet co-worker!

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