The characteristics of the extrovertive and introvertive personality types are astonishingly different.
Extroverts, for instance, are powered by other people – they feed off their energy in social settings. Introverts, on the other hand, find solace in solitude; that kind of socialisation would deplete them both mentally and physically.
When it comes to conveying thoughts, extroverts typically speak before the think, and introverts think, deeply, before they utter a single word.
Considering these two stark differences, it is a wonder to imagine how these two disposition types co-exist in general terms, let alone in a work environment.
Notwithstanding, there are successful relationships between these opposites. The fundamental reason being that they collectively use their strengths to attain unthinkable productivity; one that would’ve been elusive if pursued individually.
However, in a work setting, having introverts and extroverts collaborate on a project can be unnerving for most managers (the propensity for conflict is incredibly high) who would much rather people of a similar temperament worked together.
Unfortunately, there are instances when such a convenient union isn’t feasible. In such a situation, here are some suggestions that would assist in preventing friction and handling conflict:
1. Acknowledge your contrasting energy levels during conflicts
Both parties need to be acutely aware that their energy levels are completely different: extroverts should recognise that their introverted partner’s energy level might decline from time to time, and accept measured responses. Also, introverts shouldn’t be thrown by the hyped reactions of their extroverted partner.
Such awareness is essential especially in emotionally charged situations – where they tend to accentuate/exaggerate their strengths (an extrovert gets animated and talks louder while the introvert retreats into themselves). They should both resist this urge to amplify their natural inclinations.
2. Be clear about what you need
Right from the get-go, both people should be explicit about what they need from each other. This line of communication would provide an avenue to understanding boundaries and trigger points for arguments.
3. Collaboratively manage disputes
In the event that a row ensues, make sure that both parties work together to reach a resolution. It is expedient to allow the person who is the “problem solver” of the two to take the lead.
4. Seek external help
If both parties realise that they’ve reached an impasse (where dialogue is now futile) reaching out to a neutral third party is a helpful tactic.
This person brings the much-needed objectivity to break the tension and peacefully move things along.
5. Take some time out
Sometimes the best course of action is to put some space between each other. Whether it’s for a couple of minutes or days – taking some time apart is the best remedy to calming charged emotions and becoming productive.