Extroverts are not better at feedback

There is a common misconception out there that because you are an extrovert you are better wired to give feedback. I call bollocks on this. It’s usually an extrovert that is telling me this too. 

Dr Carl Jung first introduced these terms into psychology. Extraversion tends to manifest as outgoing, talkative, and energetic behaviour. They get energy from being with others. Introversion is more reflective and reserved behaviour. Tending to retreat into thinking and finding alone timing energising. 

Most people judge me to be extrovert. According to MBTI I am smack bang in the middle. I like people. I enjoy events but don’t find them energizing. To recharge I need to spend time alone or have more one on ones. 

In my experience, extroverts tend to associate themselves as people who are more bold, more confident and will speak ‘their truth’. Sometimes that just becomes an excuse to verbally assassinate, not educate. Especially if they think and speak at the same time.

Put simply, extroverts are attention out. Introverts are attention in.

According to author and speaker Susan Cain, third to half of the population are introverts. Introversion is not about being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgement. In fact, because introverts process in their head first they can create a very safe conversation environment. Rather than suffer from the extrovert’s issue; ‘Regretis’. A condition made up by yours truly. Thinking as we speak and then later regretting it.

So the damage introverts might create in challenging conversations is arguably less as the feedback is more considered. But all this pre-thinking can also increase the fear associated with the conversation and create a lack of conversation.

The moral of the story. Don’t judge the introverts for listening and pondering. Don’t judge the extroverts for speaking. Stay in your own lane and be more aware of what you are and how it helps or hinders the conversations you need to have.

If you want to hear more about why feedback feels so hard and what you can do about it you should come to my next online event Embedding a Feedback Culture in 2023. Check it out here.