Innovation and Introverts: How To Make It Work...#Innovation #Tech #Business

Innovation, extroverts, and introverts

When innovation and creativity come along, everyone has different tastes, preferences, and styles. But what inspires most to be creative are positive and relaxed vibes. Now, the best way to boost the positive atmosphere in the office is by taking into account that there are two basic principles of how people work – the extroverted principle, and the introverted principle.

“… an introvert is a person whose interest is generally directed inward toward his own feelings and thoughts, in contrast to an extrovert, whose attention is directed toward other people and the outside world. The typical introvert is shy, contemplative, and reserved and tends to have difficulty adjusting to social situations. Excessive daydreaming and introspection, careful balancing of considerations before reaching decisions, and withdrawal under stress are also typical of the introverted personality. The extrovert, by contrast, is characterized by outgoing-ness, responsiveness to other persons, activity, aggressiveness, and the ability to make quick decisions.”


But what about those who are both extroverted and introverted in regards of experiencing innovation, or in general everyday life? We call those – the ambiverts.

Not being afraid of speaking to other people, feel less anxiety then most do, do not feel shy, and can normally talk to strangers as if they were their life-long friends – these are the extroverted characteristics of the ambiverts.

After a couple of minutes of relaxed conversation, the ambivert can peacefully proceed with what she/he was doing without feeling any urge for further communication. And when this introverted side is awoken, ambiverts just kind of wished they stayed home and watched the movies. When someone approaches them (again), they turn into an extrovert (again).
It sounds great, I know. But it’s not.

People often do not understand that ambiverts do not have enough energy to do all the things that extroverts do.

“But what do you mean you’re not coming to the event? Fine, don’t. Your loss.”, says your co-worker when you decline the invitation to a third networking event this week (although you were present on the last two). If the introvert said she/he doesn’t want to come, no one would even flinch. It is awful for the ambivert to feel bad about who she/he is as much it is for the introverts and extroverts. Can this be changes in the office surrounding?

 Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Breaking double standards at the office

The toughness of the situation shouldn’t stop us from forming the motivational atmosphere for all three of these personality types in the office where creativity and inspiration are at the top of the list. Usually, providing people with weekly goals which they naturally lean towards is a good idea. This creates a more relaxed environment where the employees know they will be given the task which they do the best.

Mixing things up in terms of some shorter projects can be a real breaker of boundaries, and can add to the mutual understanding. This creates the innovation-like boost for each and every person in the office.
So, mixing these three personality types can be a real fun. How to do it? Well, tell the ambivert that they should supervise the work of the group, and write reports every day. It will put the ambivert in front of a completely different set of tasks than the usual extrovert-introvert kind of a mechanical finishing of the task. The ambivert will have to communicate with the members of the group, but also spend some alone time when writing reports. The extroverts should be given a completely calm and silent task, such as library research or online research. And to mix things up even more, introverts should be the ones presenting the group project, and doing all the work which needs people skills.

Will all of this actually boost the innovation-oriented atmosphere?

The point of this ‘mixing exercise’ is to boost the positive atmosphere inside of the office. If you do it correctly, then yes – it can do a creative push you need. On the other hand, making people do what they do not feel like doing is sadistic and wrong. It can create a mental and physical problem for a person made into doing something.
Respect, on the other hand, should be the promoted side of the mixing exercise.

Only the relaxed and creative vibes in the office can bring out the best in the employees. Every CEO, manager, or an employee should keep this in mind.

Reginald Swift