The ongoing once-in-a-century pandemic makes ambiverts (part introverts and part extroverts) an ideal blend in the corporate world. One has to be adaptive and take on the traits of both, like listening well, or being a dynamic personality in meetings, in a measured way.

One needs to be able to initiate conversation or small talk without hesitation. One also needs to be quiet and let the others take centerstage.

Michelle A. (@michelleyaa45) - Profile Photo




Being both an introvert and an extrovert(as per the requirement) is about how you are able to energize yourself, refilling your mental energy tank. It can be a 15-minute break sitting alone, or a trek with a group of people, or even sitting in a buzzing cafe.

One has to balance the scale and maintain an equilibrium to be able to be an ambivert.

Introverts Vs Extroverts

Some questions are fundamental: Fiction or Nonfiction? Cat person or Dog person? And this: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Each of these identities has its pros and cons, but no one can say that a particular one is better. Extroverts have long been celebrated and rewarded due to their natural people skills. Introverts are, strangely enough, proven to be better CEOs, though the confident attitude of an extrovert is better suited for the image of a CEO.

Ambiverts, part introverts and part extroverts, are enthusiastic, social, but also are good listeners and can do well without having the need to hog the limelight.

It is a requirement for leaders and managers in this age to be a blend of extroverts and introverts, having the strengths of both, in order to work in flexible and empathetic work environments.

  • A 2013 study challenged a long-standing myth of extroverts being better in a sales environment.
  • Another study found that introverts are actually better managers.
  • People with a flexible pattern of talking and listening, along with a dose of assertiveness can persuade in the best way and close a sale.
Responding rather than reacting

People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to understand the root cause of the problem and solve it in a calm manner instead of dismissing it as a nuisance.

When we respond rather than react we take the time to pause, perceive, and pursue the action that we think best for the scenario.

Those who are emotionally intelligent believe that it is important to show people their true selves whenever faced with difficult situations to show people others that challenging situations should always be faced headstrong with transparency and emotional honesty instead of hiding behind a mask and taking all the responsibility by yourself and refrain from asking help when needed.

While it is important to look the the details we shouldn't forget that the whole picture is important as well.

People who have higher emotional intelligence act with a high degree of self-awareness. They are able to see both sides and understand the situation of both sides.

This is usually a trait we need to look for from everyone, but emotionally intelligent people have a technique called the "six second pause" to gather their thoughts instead of blurting out whatever thought comes to mind.

The chemicals of emotion inside our brains and bodies last about six seconds. If we take the time to pause, even for a short while, this helps prevents a flood of chemicals to take over the rational part of your brain.

The people we consider to be reasonable people are those we see that practice restraint over themselves and the ones do not let their emotions control them.

Self-control is a necessary emotional skill that provides long-term pay off because this skill provides a work environment that has low drama and high productivity.

Conflict in leadership and life is unavoidable. Instead of seeing conflict as something to be avoided, see it as an opportunity to achieve greater levels of fulfilment.

  • Take the time to really listen before you jump into the conversation.
  • Pause before you speak. Instead of reacting instinctively, take a deep breath to realign yourself before responding.
  • Press your internal "reset" button. Pause, take stock, breathe deeply, then determine the "right" next move.
  • Change the way you view your world. Use your emotions as a gauge to help you understand when your needs are met, and when they are not.
  • Clearly define your intentions. Being able to articulate your intentions effectually increase your chances of achieving what you want.
  • Be mindful of body language. Over 90% of our communication with others is nonverbal.

"Issues that aren’t talked out get acted out in snide remarks and innuendoes, higher absenteeism and turnover, and lower productivity and engagement. When you are discussing something sensitive, what is left unsaid is often what the conversation really needs to be about."

Transform Conflict Into A Growth Opportunity

Constructive conflict can lead to positive growth and transformation, along with the capacity for understanding ourselves and the world around us. It is helpful to recognize the reasons why we wish to avoid conflict.

For example:

  • I want to be liked by everyone.
  • It's better not to rock the boat.
  • I might strain the relationship.
  • I don't know what to say or do.
  • I would feel too awkward.
  • Use analytic techniques that don’t require high accuracy.
  • Prepare for multiple outcomes
  • Find and rely on the predictable elements of the situation
  • Focus your evaluation of initiatives on the inputs (the quality of the process that went into its planning and execution) not just the outputs 
  • Remain agile, and strive to respond quickly
  • You have to prepare for failure, success, and everything in between. But as long as others find you trustable, you’ll never be on your own

Most companies conduct postmortems at a project’s end to analyze and outline the factors that contributed to its failure. But this reflection, examination and evaluation might not be as useful as most wait for failures to conduct them and stop the analysis once the guilty are identified.

Failures don't happen frequently enough to learn at the rate that’s needed to really thrive in a competitive environment. Learning reviews, on the other hand, aim to gather information and can be conducted after each experiment or iteration allowing improvements regardless of successes. 

To extract a full account of the incident, remove blame and punishment on an organizational level from your retrospectives. You get there easier by reducing the fear and biases that creep in during the investigation of failures, and by choosing reconciliation and immunity over retribution.

Often, the conditions that lead to the negative outcome would still be there even if you removed the guilty individuals. And if the guilty are fired, you lose those who are better placed to help you learn from the incident.

  1. Determine and rank the steps that should be taken to change the conditions that brought the incident in the first place.
  2. To keep the learning review focused, prioritize and discuss these action items in separate follow-up meetings with the relevant people.
  3. The facilitator must publish the learning review write-up as widely as possible. Both successes and failures should become part of institutional memory.
  4. If the incident negatively impacted people, consider using the 3 Rs to structure the writeup. The Rs stand for ‘Regret, Reason, and Remedy’ as it provides a straightforward formula for a meaningful, satisfying apology.

Blame and biases — such as hindsight bias — give us a convenient story about what happened in any negative situation. To the extent that a story feels comfortable, we believe that it's true but when we get to that convenient point we stop learning.

Skipping the learning process alleviates the discomfort of dealing with complex systems, but it costs in the long-term because you ignore the context of the incident and don’t address areas of fragility. 

  • Repeatedly remind your team that they’re part of a learning organization to make them focus on learning.
  • Remind your people that you are all operating within complex systems, thus failures can be unpredictable.
  • Failure is a normal part of the functioning of complex systems.
  • Seek to understand what goes wrong and what goes right, to make more resilient systems.
  • Look for the conditions that allowed a particular situation to manifest, and accept that not all of them are knowable or fixable.
  • Human errors are a symptom of trouble within the system, not the cause. 
  • Educate everyone on cognitive biases and keep an eye out for them.

A timeline is an account of what happened by the people who were involved and impacted. Create a timeline with input from as many people from diverse points of view. With some training, anyone in the organization can do it.

A good timeline shows not just what happened, but serves as a reference point to keep the review on track. It should capture what people were thinking at the time it was happening instead of reflecting what happened from the biased perspective of the present.

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