Are you an introvert or an extrovert? In his book, Confident Conversation: How to Communicate Successfully in Any Situation, Mike Bechtle makes the following contrast between the two personality styles:
Introverts are people who gain energy when they have time alone. They aren’t necessarily shy, but they need their “space” to regroup after being in a group setting. They tend to process internally, rather than thinking aloud with others. They might not participate easily in a group discussion but think through the issues later on their own…[Introverts] struggle with issues such as:
*How they come across to others
*Saying the right thing
*Initiating a conversation
Extroverts gain energy when they’re surrounded by others. The bigger the group, the more energized they become. They often do their best thinking aloud and shape their opinions while talking with others. They’re quick on their feet and aren’t intimidated by speaking up…[Extroverts] have to deal with:
*Why people don’t always agree with them
*Getting bored in a conversation
*Why some people seem uncomfortable around them
*Understanding what quiet people bring to a conversation
You may well wonder if this is a book about conversation or about personality types. Actually it is both and Bechtle is quick to assert that both personalities carry strengths and weaknesses when it comes to effective communication. In fact, a self proclaimed introvert himself, he seems to write with particular attention to the introvert:
We live in an extrovert society. Not totally, but since extroverts talk more, they’re the ones we hear from the most. We’re surrounded by messages that imply the need to communicate more forcefully, directly, and effectively.
Go to any bookstore and you’ll find shelves of self-help books written to help people become more outgoing. Who writes those books? Extroverts…Who usually buys those books? Introverts.
Bechtle believes that taking the time to “discover your own temperament and personality style” will enable you to “pick the techniques that mesh with who you really are, providing a solid base for effective communication.”
He himself offers many techniques in his book, from advance preparation (a list of suggested conversation starters) to making notes afterward. While I don’t know that I will ever keep a file of various conversations and corresponding conversants, I found most of his tips to be intriguing as I too am an introvert (no surprise there).
If you’re interested in communicating successfully, Confident Conversation: How to Communicate Successfully in Any Situation will take you through preparing for, starting, developing, and ending a conversation, as well as suggestions on how to listen, channeling stress, and handling tough conversations.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….