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In This Issue
Understanding the Continuum - Introverts, Extroverts, and Ambiverts
Constrasting the Extremes - Introversion vs. Extroversion
The Middle Ground - The Ambivert
SCS e-xpress

May/June 2015

A Message from Sarah & Chris:             Who Are You Concept text on background


The theme of this issue is "introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts."

For many years, people have been categorized as introverts or extroverts. Measurements of introversion/extroversion are also used in most personality profile tests. There is another category, the "ambivert," that is less frequently mentioned but worth noting. Ambiverts are people who fall closer to the middle of the continuum between introverts and extroverts and exhibit behaviors from both categories.


Gaining a deeper understanding of where you fall on the Introvert-Extrovert continuum can positively impact your career, your relationships, and your overall happiness. Read on to learn more about introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts.   


We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  

Where We'll Be

San Francisco, CA
7/19/15 - 7/22/15

Chicago, IL
8/5/15 - 8/7/15

Keystone, CO
8/9/15 - 8/12/15

National Harbor, MD
10/18/15 - 10/21/15

Savannah, GA
4/25/16 - 4/27/16

April 25 - 27, 2016
Savannah, GA
Book Recommendations
     - by Susan Cain

    - by Brian R. Little

 Today's Quotes

"There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum." 

  - Carl G. Jung, Psychiatrist


"We all move along the continuum of introvert and extrovert behaviors and preferences all day long."

   - Patricia Weber, Introvert Coach


"Life is too short to spend time with toxic people in draining places!"         - Author unknown 




Today's Laughs


Q. How many introverts does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Why does it have to be a group activity?


I prefer not to think before speaking. I like to be as surprised as everyone else is by what comes out of my mouth. 


Q. Do you know how to tell if your dog is an introvert?

A. You often find him (or her) staring out a window contemplating life.

An extrovert's dilemma:  Wanting to do yoga or meditate but can't imagine being quiet for that long.










Fireworks display during fourth of July with American flag and bald eagle


Understanding the Continuum 

Introverts, Extroverts, and Ambiverts

Psychiatrist Carl Jung is known for popularizing the terms "introversion" and "extroversion."  He considered them to be "attitudes," noting that an attitude is a person's predisposition to behave in a particular way.  We often stereotype people as introverts or extroverts.  If you think of a continuum, "introvert" and "extrovert" would appear at the extreme opposite ends.

Personality profiling is not a perfect science.  Even Carl Jung himself said there is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert.  People fall somewhere between the two extremes.  If your tendencies fall closer to the introvert end, then you are classified as an introvert. If your tendencies fall closer to the extrovert end, you are classified as an extrovert.  Until recently, many people were unaware that there is actually a third category - the "ambivert."  Ambiverts exhibit traits of both extremes, and therefore, fall closer to the middle of the continuum.  

There is no right or wrong personality type. Many scientists believe that our genetic makeup has a lot to do with which attitude tendencies are strongest in each of us. These tendencies are also related to how we recharge our brains and what zaps our energies. By getting to know ourselves and others better, we can act on our strengths, understand our weaknesses, and learn to build better relationships.

Wondering where you fall on the continuum?  Try taking one or both of the quick tests below and see what the experts say about you.

                                                              personality types word cloud on a digital tablet with a cup of tea        Contrasting 

         the Extremes         

Introversion vs. Extroversion


There are many misconceptions about introverts and extroverts. Introverts are often mislabeled as shy, withdrawn, and afraid of crowds.  Because extroverts thrive in social environments, they are often seen as outgoing, over-confident people who like to dominate a conversation. Many extroverts don't understand why introverts need time alone to recharge; instead, they think something is wrong or the person is depressed. In contrast, many introverts don't understand why an extrovert, if left alone for two minutes, feels the need to reach for his or her cell phone to be connected to someone.  


By understanding the differences in tendencies at the ends of the continuum, we can learn to better understand ourselves and others. We can identify situations where we thrive and situations that drain us.  As we become more aware of our own tendencies, we can also hone our communication skills to help us better relate to people with opposite tendencies. 


Let's contrast a few of the extremes:


Inward focused
Outward focused
Energized by solitude; need quiet time to "recharge"
Energized by people; need socialization to "recharge"
Think first - speak later; good listeners Speak first - think later; good communicators
Process oriented - need to be prepared Action oriented - spontaneous
Prefer to express thoughts in writing Prefer to communicate in person
Calm and reserved High energy and transparent
Prefer not to be the center of attention Like being the focus of attention

In the retirement services industry, introverts are usually well-suited to be plan administrators and actuaries. By contrast, we see more extroverts (or ambiverts) as advisors and salespersons. People tend to gravitate towards careers that are in their comfort zone.  Although many people believe that extroverts are better suited for management and leadership because they are more dynamic, the truth is that both introverts and extroverts can be successful as managers and leaders. The key is to understand the tendencies in the chart above, focus on one's own strengths, and adapt as needed to better relate to the employee(s) being supervised.  SCS conducts onsite Communication Workshops for Retirement Service Professionals to help employees and managers improve communication skills and build stronger relationships.


Click here to read an interesting article about Introverts and Extroverts in Leadership.


Click here to see a gallery of Great Introverts and Extroverts of our Time.


3d people, person, man with symbol  right  and   wrong  on balance scale
      The Middle Ground

   The Ambivert 


Ambiverts fall closer to the middle of the continuum between introversion and extroversion. They sometimes identify with introverted traits and at other times, they identify more with extroverted traits. Because ambiverts exhibit tendencies of both groups, they tend to have a good understanding of how introverts and extroverts function.  


As an example, most ambiverts enjoy social settings and are usually comfortable with groups of any size. However, over time, too much interaction may start to drain them. It is as if they start out as an extrovert and then their introvert tendencies begin to kick in. They will need some time alone to recharge, like an introvert would - but likely not as long. Once recharged, they will need socialization to remain energized - and so the cycle continues.  Ambiverts can easily adapt to many situations. For example, if they are speaking to extroverts, they may be more quiet; however, in situations where they are speaking to introverts, they might easily take the lead in the conversation. This flexibility makes them well-suited for many career choices.


There are also people who exhibit extroverted traits in some areas, but they are "situationally introverted" in other areas.  These folks usually identify more with the ambivert middle ground on the continuum than they do with either extreme. Perhaps they were born an ambivert, or they might have once leaned more towards introversion and later learned how to "pull themselves towards extroversion" in situations where they were more familiar or comfortable. 


Wondering if you are an ambivert? 


Click here to become familiar with the 21 Signs that You Might Be an Ambivert. 



What our Customers are Saying...


"The communication and customer service training was especially good (compared to other training we've had) because the case studies and exercises related to 'our world.'"  



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