I am often asked about being introverted versus being extroverted and which talents coincide with these personality traits. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert is, for the most part, related to how you connect with others, process information, and where you draw energy from. These tendencies are on a continuum and can vary depending on the situation and your mix of specific talents.
Introverts tend to need more time to process and reflect on information. They may prefer to ponder things before involving themselves in a conversation. They tend to analyze situations carefully and take time to think before they speak.
Introverts find energy by having time to think and reflect, and that is mostly solitary time. They often tend to have a small group of close friends and can be perceived as quiet and reserved in large groups or around people they don’t know well.
Because of these qualities, they are often labeled as shy or withdrawn, but this is not always the case. When someone prefers to have time to reflect, it’s very difficult to have a conversation at the same time, especially when they don’t know the person or are in a larger group.
Extroverts tend to seek out social situations. They tend to have a big or effusive personality and typically aren’t afraid to talk to other people. They enjoy being out in front or on stage. They love to chit-chat and seem to have natural social confidence.
Extroverts feel energized by social interaction. They enjoy larger social settings and tend to have large friend groups. They tend to process their thoughts out loud and bounce them off others, gaining validation and clarity. And they tend not to need as much time to ponder things internally.
Because of these qualities, they can be labeled as talkative, friendly, and outgoing. They also may not appear to be deep thinkers, but this is certainly not always true.
Common Introvert Talents
When we talk about the talents that have to do with creating relationships, the Connect talents, you might think they would be more commonly found in extroverts, but that isn’t always the case. There are a couple of these talents that are sometimes present in people who are more reserved and intentional about the relationships that they create.
Take for example the talent Relator. People with Relator create deep friendships with a small circle of trusted others. These types of relationships take time, often years. Relators are choosy about who they let into their inner circle. Because of the time they take to form these deep relationships, they hold these friends tight and dear. These friends inspire the greatest level of trust, commitment, and appreciation from someone with the Relator talent. This can look introverted to people because the person with Relator may not randomly chat with others they don’t know.
Another talent like this is Responsibility. People who feel a high level of responsibility feel a deep sense of duty to do what they’ve committed to doing, especially for other people. That establishes trust, and building trust takes time and requires demonstrated commitment. And that can be serious business for them. And when a person is serious, they can appear to be more introverted.
A couple of the Reflect talents also tend to appear as more introverted. Remember that Reflect talents are all about what goes on in our brains. They are related to the way we take in and process information and draw conclusions. A couple of those stand out to me as being perceived as more introverted.
The first is Intellection. Intellection is deep and thorough thinking, reflecting, pondering, and conclusion drawing. This kind of thought work takes time and is also serious business. A person with Intellection, especially when they’re considering something important, can appear to be reserved or hesitant to speak up, at least until they’ve completely processed whatever thought they’re considering. So they often need quiet, solitary time to think and reflect, and that can look like introversion to others.
Another talent is Deliberative. People with Deliberative are risk-averse. They strive to minimize chaos so they’re always looking at things that could get in the way of life proceeding smoothly. And that takes effort and attention. They also tend not to overly share personal information about themselves because doing so can be risky. So all of this can create an appearance of being introverted.
Common Extrovert Talents
Connect talents tend to be more commonly thought of as extroverted, and a couple of them are notable for this quality.
A person with Communication talent can appear to be extroverted. These people find the right words to say at any given moment. Because of this they are naturally engaging and bring people into their orbit through words, often spoken words. Because they are so attuned to the person or people they’re speaking with, they can appear to be extroverted.
Another talent that often appears as extroverted is Includer. People with this talent always want to make people feel welcome. They like to talk to lots of different types of people and make sure everyone is included so that no one is left out. And this certainly can appear as being extroverted.
A Reflect talent that you may not think of as extroverted, but that can sometimes have an element of it is the Input talent. These people collect lots of information that they find really interesting and they often want to share it with others. They are natural storytellers. They can easily carry a conversation by conveying all of the interesting nuggets of insights and wisdom they have collected. However, just because they seem eager to share stories, they may prefer to do that one-on-one or in smaller groups. How extroverted a person with Input appears is often heavily influenced by their other talents.
There are a couple of Energize talents that can have an extroverted element to them. Remember, individuals with these talents tend to have the itch to get going and finish things.
Self-assurance is one of these talents. People who have this talent exude natural confidence about everything. You may have encountered someone like this who naturally presents themselves as very confident, and because they have the natural confidence to speak about what they know to nearly anyone, regardless of the person’s standing or position, they can appear to be extroverted.
Significance is another Energize talent that can sometimes have an element of extroversion to it. Significance has to do with leaving a lasting mark or legacy in the world. This talent is focused on what contributions the person who has it makes. And it drives them. So, they may seek out attention and acknowledgment for the great things they’ve done, which can appear as being somewhat extroverted.
The last quadrant holds the Mobilize talents. In this category talents such as Developer, Positivity, Maximizer, Woo, Competition, and Command all have somewhat of an extroverted appearance to them because they are focused on motivating other people to action. They have a lot of passion behind them and naturally engage you, which can cause them to appear more extroverted.
Personality Is A Continuum
It’s important to remember that whether talking about talents or introversion and extroversion, personality is a continuum. And your unique talents and way of engaging with the world depend on your mix of talents. No one talent defines who you are and everyone has a different way of expressing themselves and their unique talent mix.
Talent DNA Tool
If you want to learn more about your personality and talents you can take The CliftonStrengths assessment here. Once you have your top-five report you can find out more about your talent mix by using the free, one-of-a-kind tool I created.
All you have to do is enter your top five talents by choosing the icon for the talent. After you finish, enter your name and email address and it will give you a report that describes your mix of talents and some main points that someone with your talent mix has to offer. You’ll see your CoreDrill, which is a visual that shows you what quadrants your top five talents are found in. You’ll also get an email with these results.
This is a fun and interesting way to learn more about yourself and begin to appreciate all the wonderful and unique talents that make you, you! If you have any questions or want more help understanding your talents and how you can use them most intentionally to create the life you’re meant to have, please feel free to contact me here. I’d love to chat with you!