Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
That’s what I asked organisers in last month’s Quick Question survey. Here’s a summary of responses, with nice round numbers for once.
50% of respondents answered “Mainly an introvert”.
10% answered “Mainly an extrovert”.
And 40% responded with “50/50”.
As always, these dry statistics are just the beginning of the story. I further asked,
Do you think this helps or hinders your work as an organiser? And how?
And that’s where it gets interesting.
All of the extroverts who took the survey believe their extroversion helps their work as an organiser, while only one of the introverts believe their introversion helps. The only respondents that believe their personality type hinders their work were introverts, with 20%.
That one introvert who said it helps is me! I honestly believe the qualities of introversion allow me to be a good listener. Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, had me fist pumping in agreement. I highly recommend it.
But I digress. Back to the stats.
62.5% of those who said “50/50” believe that helps their work as an organiser. Lucy Steen from Serenity Organising is one of these. Sharon Alexander from O2B Organised is another. She said, “I think being 50/50 helps me put my clients at ease as I can easily ramp up my energy or be a bit quieter & calmer to suit what they need on the day.”
Of the other 50/50 cohort, 12.5% believe it neither helps nor hinders, and 25% believes it both helps and hinders.
Of the introverts, 30% say it neither helps not hinders, and 40% say it both helps and hinders.
Amy Kennedy from The Organising Bee is in the 50/50 camp. She said, “I am confident and chatty with those that I know well, but rarely speak around those new to me. This is changing as I get older, and I’m forced to speak to strangers as part of becoming a business owner. I am comfortable spending time alone, and also fuelled and reenergised by spending time with others.” With regard to her client work, Amy said, “Personally, I find it overwhelming and off putting when others are too loud or overly energetic, so with all clients, I try to keep a calm and measured approach. It doesn’t take long for me to warm and feel comfortable speaking around new clients. I often use conversation as a method to calm or change focus for a client who is overwhelmed or having difficulties focusing on the task at hand. Sometimes, this approach works wonders and the client is able to move forward and make decisions with greater ease. My vulnerability is often mirrored and openly share personal troubles and concerns with me. This allows me to provide a more meaningful and tailored service for them. For other clients, generally those who are introverts themselves, conversation can be distracting or draining, and I refrain from general chit chat as much as possible to ensure that are at ease. I find that reading the client and what they need in regards to energy and conversation is important.”
Noela Collins from Organise Your…, who is mainly an introvert, acknowledges that whether it helps or hinders depends on the personality of the client.
Many agreed with her. I’ll leave you with this wise comment from someone who preferred to remain anonymous: “Sometimes a client needs an extrovert to bring out the energy and enthusiasm. Sometimes a client needs a softer gentle approach, so they don’t feel threatened in a vulnerable situation.”