Which are the best job environments for Introverted - Extroverts

Chapter 5

Introverted Extroverts (IEs) lack the extreme skills in social situations of pure extroverts, and share some characteristics with introverts. They're a mixture of both, but they have their own individual characteristics which make them quite unique.

Many IEs have evolved from pure introversion to a working level of extroversion. Some are extroverts who've developed truly deep inner dimensions. They have a sufficient level of extroversion to be good communicators, and are much more comfortable in social and career environments than introverts. Their social instincts are sometimes highly developed, like extroverts, and they are frequently good mixers.

However, their basic origins are very like introverts, even with the ones who were formerly pure extroverts. They retain a lot of the personal characteristics of introverts, and are often empathic to pure introverts. IEs are relatively low key, compared to even mild extroverts, although the former extroverts can turn it off an on at will.

They're good listeners, as well as talkers. They can see multiple perspectives in any social situation, which makes them excellent mediators, because they really can see both sides of any dispute.

This ability is their unique skill, and they can use it effectively in any career situation. They're real thinkers, like introverts, and their role is often to think their way through social situations. They're very good trainers, because they can literally see what's happening with their trainees' thinking, and know what's worrying them.

They aren't born managers. But if they have enough experience, they're very good managers by any standards. They communicate at all levels of their workforce, and are never bullies, or unreasonable. It's against their instincts to be unfair. They get a lot of genuine respect for that characteristic from their subordinates and their managers. Their judgment of people is very good, and they find and fix social problems without needing to be asked.

IEs far prefer healthy social environments, and actively avoid anything that doesn't meet that criteria. They don't like, and usually won't tolerate, irrational behavior, even in their managers. They're honest to the bone, and are never going to be part of anything underhanded or illegal. They also dislike office gossip, and executive power games.

That makes them lousy at office politics, but they're usually so good at their jobs that they're never even considered as dispensable. The IE will be the one that does the difficult jobs well, puts in enormous amounts of time where necessary, and does really good work on a routine basis.

They're not actually unambitious, although they may seem uninterested in promotions and careerism as a whole. To the IE, like the introvert, the career is a personal thing, and they have their own ideas about what they consider to be success.

This mix of characteristics makes IEs very good original thinkers. In creative fields, they excel, because of the variety of perspectives they understand so well, and they love to innovate. To them, innovation is exploration, and sometimes problem solving as well. They share with introverts the love of mental challenges, and will tackle any difficult concept fearlessly, like introverts.

They're very fast learners. Only the pure introverts can keep up with them in terms of recognizing the importance and uses of learning skills. They learn well, and they're almost always as demanding as introverts in perfecting their new skills. They want to know everything about their own mistakes, and will go looking for reasons for any shortcomings in their own work, and fix them.

As mediators, IEs are unique, and utterly unlike the other three types, in that they do a lot of their best social work almost unconsciously. For the others, it's a conscious effort, but for the IE it's so normal that they may not even notice that they've successfully solved a personal dispute or problem.

Unfortunately for IEs, management may not notice it, either. Where their natural skills are properly understood, IEs can be high flyers, and much appreciated. Their skills in some fields, like mediation, product development, and consultancies are usually so advanced that they're impossible to overlook. But in other fields, like accountancy, or in bureaucracies, they can be almost ignored, however good their work may be.

Their talents have to be in areas where recognition is easy, to guarantee career success. Their thinking is their real skill, and in humdrum careers full of routines and standardized procedural situations, that thinking is seriously restricted, and lacks outlets.

Anywhere an idea has a perceived value, the IE has a good career.

Conversely, anywhere thinking is not required is a desert to the IE, like the introvert. They're as likely to suffer from restrictions on use of their talents as an extrovert, and can be as deeply offended and repelled by some career environments as an Extroverted Introvert.

IEs mix very well with the other types, because of their empathy, and can be relied upon to assist them. They're very effective as mentors and make excellent friends, because they can genuinely understand the personal difficulties of others. IEs are often interpreters between the other types, and can explain the logic of an introvert to an extrovert so that the extrovert actually understands what's involved in the introvert's thought processes.

IEs can also make an EI feel secure in a room full of extroverts. They understand the extrovert mentality, and can explain it in a few words so the EI doesn't misinterpret the situation. They can help an introvert deal with a presentation, simply by being there, and with a few reassuring words. They can help an extrovert avoid going insane while attempting to communicate with an office full of introverts. They do this simply by asking a few questions which will make the extrovert use the sort of concepts which the introverts will want to hear, rather than doing a sales pitch, which will bounce off the introverts.

They are born consultants. Their advice is always good, and they check their own thinking are rigorously as any introvert. When they give advice, it's honest advice. Their honesty applies to themselves, too, and no double standards or excuses are made. They would be devastated if they ever gave bad advice, as much out of empathy as out of sheer horror at their mistake. Fortunately for IEs, they don't often make mistakes.

Despite their social skills, IEs sometimes frighten other people with their sheer inscrutability, which is very like introverts, unless they make the extra effort to communicate their friendliness. It takes a bit of time to spot the IE, who can be mistaken for an introvert or an extrovert, at first glance.

IEs are very good information handlers, but they do it differently from introverts and extroverts. The multiple perspective function takes over control of information, and will make associations with those perspectives, in any situation. Possible clashes and conflicts will be seen in advance. Most importantly, IEs share with introverts the ability to find weak points in information, and have the added ability to make all possible connections to their work.

It's not uncommon for an introvert, who can always find the most obscure information imaginable, to recognize significant issues with that information, and pass it on to the IE. The introvert knows the IE will know what to do with it, and how best to use it. An extrovert, who has a very high level of exposure to information from a huge variety of sources, will make a point of passing on any odd-looking or implausible information to the IE, for the same reason.

IEs are true team players. They really can generate trust in such diametrically opposite types of people. In any group of people if you ask who's the person they would trust with sensitive or difficult information, it'll be an IE. This is not a coincidence. IEs are trusted because they are trustworthy, and so are their skills. Their empathy and their individualism makes them strong characters, even if they appear understated compared to others.

IEs, by definition, are not doormats. They won't demand respect, but they'll get it, and there won't be any doubt why they get it. They're invariably capable, competent, people, and they have no difficulty proving it. They will stand up for themselves on principle, and the big risk in getting into a dispute with an IE is that they'll prove themselves right. They make very good arguments, and they're tough to debate against.

The best way to antagonize an IE is to be blasť about their ideas, or superficial about something important. That will convince the IE that they're dealing with a lesser intelligence, or one that doesn't know its own job. IEs do not like incompetent people, any more than introverts. They're usually nicer about it, most of the time, but they're as ruthless as introverts at removing anyone they see as a liability. They make very good managers, fair, open-minded and understanding, but the IE's bottom line cannot be crossed.

They're much the same, as subordinates. The bottom line applies to those above them as much as those below. An IE is more likely to fire an employer than an employer is likely to fire an IE. As employees, or members of an organization, the bottom line is credibility. They won't stick around trying to un-destroy any workplace, business, or group which has passed their level of tolerance. If you see an IE walking out of your workplace, that workplace is in trouble of some sort, for sure. Their judgment is extremely good, particularly in older IEs, and they will get off a sinking ship well before it hits an iceberg.

IEs don't know the meaning of laziness. Their internal introversion is a very powerful driving force, usually unseen by most people. The extroverted part may seem perfectly normal, but the energy level is always high.

This is where the Extroverted part of the IE flourishes. They aren't as frenzied as the extroverts in full flight, or a silently ultra industrious as introverts, both of whom can handle gigantic workloads, but they're on a par with both. If you want something done, and done in a certain way, the IE is the one who'll do that. Introverts and extroverts can be absolutely brilliant, and so can IEs. But the IE will understand instantly what you want, and why you want it done that way. The others may need it explained to them, or not see the perspectives.

Another definite skill of the IE, devolving on that ability to understand the priorities of others, is project management. Given a set task, the IE can turn it into a work of art. Their extroversion is particularly good at dealing with stakeholders, negotiating the impossible, and their empathy with other types connects well with anyone involved. Better yet, from the IE's point of view, there are plenty of issues to solve, planning issues, budget problems, all of which is lots of fun, for any IE, who thrives on any mental work. The IE may well make a few remarks about getting paid for having fun in these situations, and mean it.

If you want to build a pyramid, the introvert may produce a spaceship shaped like a pyramid, and the extrovert might have it built two weeks before you mentioned you'd like to build it. The IE, however, will give you a beautiful pyramid, with the sphinxes you asked for, all under warranty, and quite possibly under budget, if anyone suggested there was likely to be a budget blowout, and made that a problem for the IE to solve.

All that's required is that they're left in peace to do their work, like introverts, and aren't ever confined to the point their talents are suffering, like extroverts. If they have an idea to present, they should be heard, and their idea evaluated. Even if that idea isn't feasible, you can bet good money on the fact that the next idea will be, because the IE will learn from any situation.

IEs are real assets, in any situation, in any career. Managers who see an IE in their midst are strongly advised to grab them, before your competition does.