Archives for introversion

Socially Acceptable Discrimination

What do these four statements have in common? “I don’t think we’re ready for a black president.” “Women need to accept their place and stop trying to act like men in the workplace.” “I’m sorry I didn’t realize that you were Jewish, we try to hire team members from within our own.” “Introverts can’t be leaders. Leaders need to be charismatic, decisive, take-charge kinds of people.” Your answer? “Ignorance. Bigotry”? These statements (at least the first three) trigger appropriate feelings of anger in most informed civilized people. Obviously, the first three statements are clear examples of unacceptable and illegal discrimination
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Detox

Toxins are poisons that build up in our system over time.  It has become common in our culture for individuals concerned with their physical health to do a “detox,” a process of cleansing the body from the build up, giving the liver and the other organs that collect toxins a fresh start.  In our society, we also call the process that someone goes through as they seek to overcome a substance addiction “detox.”  Those detox processes can be quite severe and often require medical oversight as the patient’s body reacts to the withdrawal of the substance on which it has
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Four Reasons CEOs Should Understand Introversion

As the leader of your organization, it behooves you to be fully and actively informed about introversion as it relates to your organization.  You may or may not have become aware of the recent discussion about introversion in the American workplace.  For most of the last century, we have existed under a cultural assumption that Susan Cain has called the “extrovert ideal,” the idea that real leadership = extroverted leadership.  In 1996, Peter Drucker commented that he saw no connection between good leadership and the charismatic aspects of extroversion. The one and only personality trait the effective ones [leaders] did
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Introversion: Independent or Interdependent?

Clash Two cultural psychologists, Hazel Markus and Alana Conner recently (2013) published Clash: 8 Cultural Conflicts That Make Us Who We Are.  It’s a brilliant look at the things that tend to divide us from one another.  Among the things they discuss are: masculinity/femininity, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, regional distinctions, religious differences, workplace sectors, global north / south economics. Overriding these cultural differences, they see a core clash between independence and interdependence.  When the authors connected independence to western culture (yang-dominant) and interdependence to eastern culture (yin-dominant), I immediately connected the dots to the conversation about introversion and extroversion.  Here’s how the
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It’s All In Your Head

With the advent of the fMRI, PETscans and other means of exploring previously less understood inner workings of the human brain, our understandings of introversion and extroversion have been greatly advanced. Our language, however, often still reveals our ignorance on these matters. “Stop being so introverted. You’re in your head too much; it’s depressing. Let loose, have some fun.” We might just as well ask a leopard to change his spots. Far from being a choice or preference, introversion at one end of the continuum is actually visible in brain scans. At either extreme of the spectrum marked on one
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Coming Out of the Closet

Published previously on LinkedIn We store things in closets. They aren’t made for people; they are made for things. Perhaps the reason people are found in closets has to do with the way we have failed to treat them as people and instead have treated them as if they were things. This is yet another aspect of what Simon Sinek calls “the problem of abstraction,” not seeing people as people. I’ve never much liked closets. The closet is a place of darkness, of isolation. There are no windows. It doesn’t necessarily smell good. The air doesn’t move. It doesn’t feel
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