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Extrovert Personality Essay Outline

In my next several posts, I want to talk about how personality type affects the way we write, revise–and even offer critique to other writers. Today, I’m going to focus on the introversion/extroversion distinction. (I’ll be relying on the Myers Briggs four personality types: introvert/extrovert, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving. If you’re not familiar with what “type” you are, take this quick test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp)

Most of you are no doubt familiar with personality tests. We take them for our own entertainment–and, as Helen suggested on Friday, we can use them to understand our characters better.

We can also use them to understand how we work as writers.

In the Myers Briggs personality test, the first key distinction is that of introvert/extrovert. This distinction rests primarily in the way you energize and motivate yourself. Introverts are largely energized by being alone and they are often internally motivated. Extroverts draw energy off of being around other people, and are often motivated by external factors. The idea that introverts are shy is a common misperception: some are, some aren’t. (If you’re interested in a fascinating, in-depth study of introversion, check out Susan Cain’s book Quiet or her TED talk on the power of introverts).

So, how does this affect writing style?

If you’re an extrovert, you’re likely to:

  • Learn best through discussion and trial-and-error; you generate ideas best through talking about them
  • Write with little planning (outlines are easier to write *after* the first draft has been written)
  • Need breaks for outside stimulation; may write well in a noisy, vibrant environment
  • Find clarity the further you get into a paper. You discover what you’re saying as you write.
  • Value oral feedback on your writing, particularly about the work being lively, vital, showing initiative

What this means for revision:

  • Because first drafts tend to be wide-ranging and may be unfocused, extroverts often need to take a step back when they revise. It may be useful to post-outline a paper to see where the focus on revision needs to be.
  • Typical freewriting strategies may be more useful for extroverts after they’ve written a draft, as it helps them reflect on what they’ve written.

What this means if you’re giving feedback to an extrovert

  • They may find it more useful to talk through their ideas than to read written feedback.
  •  They may need to slow down after a first draft and take time for reflection.

If you’re an introvert you’re likely to:

  • Need quiet for concentration–you probably write alone.
  • Writing tends to conform to a typical “school” process (brainstorm, outline, write)
  • Take breaks while writing to gauge the direction or progress of your paper
  • Appreciate praise on the thoughtfulness of the work
  • Find it difficult to ask for feedback.

What this means for revision:

  • Some introverts don’t need a lot of revision because they write multiple drafts in their head before committing to paper.
  • Sometimes introverts need to scale back on the planning process and just start writing.

What this means if you’re giving feedback to an introvert:

  • Encourage spontaneity and discovery
  • Give them time to process and absorb feedback (introverts like to think things through before committing to a course of action).

Remember, though, that guidelines about personality type are approximate–they’re not absolute rules. Some introverts may write more like extroverts, and vice versa. There’s no right or wrong way to write, but I find that being aware of your own proclivities can help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. 

Knowing about how personality type affects writing can also help you give feedback, not least because it can help you recognize that some aspects of writing are a matter of preference. When I first started tutoring writing as an undergraduate, I assumed (as a staunch introvert) that prewriting exercises would work as well for everyone as they did for me–and I struggled with extrovert students who just wanted to talk about their ideas instead of finish their outline. 

Next time (11/28), I’ll be talking about the intuitive/sensing divide and how that plays out in your writing. In the meantime, in the immortal words of They Might Be Giants, “be what you’re like, be like yourself”–and write like it too!

What have you discovered about your own personality type and how that reflects in your writing? Are you more introverted or extroverted?

Sources:

Bayne, Rowan.The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.London: Chapman & Hall, 1995

Jensen, George H. and John K. DiTiberio. Personality and the Teaching of Composition.Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1989

Thompson, Thomas C.“Personality Preferences, Tutoring Styles, and Implications for Tutor Training,” Writing CenterJournal 14 (Spring 1994): 136-149

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Extroversion Personality for Managers


A person's character defines many things about an individual. There are different classifications of personalities that people exhibit. Most scholars dealing with personality traits incline their study towards defining the bold, assertive and outgoing people (Robinson, (2005). Personalities such as extroversion have not received much attention for a long time now. However, the topic on extraversion has received great attention in recent studies. There are three basic reasons as to why more scholars are focusing their energy towards the study of the extraversion personality. This essay entails the details on the reasons as to why extraversion is an important topic of study and why it is important for a manager to have this personality.

First, researchers have found extraversion to be a fundamental dimension through which they view and assess personality (Nettle, 2005). With extraversion, it is possible to explain the relationship between wide varieties of behaviors. Since this is a major concern in the study of personality extroversion becomes a critical area of study. The second reason is that extraversion predicts the chances of effective functioning across various domains. These domains range from cognitive performance, social endeavors and social, economic status among other aspects of personality. The last but not the least important reason is that extraversion allows researchers in the field of personality to predict risks and possible cases for resilience to particular aspects (Nettle, 2005).

Research shows that the personality affects the style of conflict handling that an individual adopts or the way he/she reacts towards certain situations. In the management of a business or an organization, conflicts are indispensable. For one reason or another, conflicts arise whenever people interact and finding solutions become part of life. Recent study shows that the personality of a manager influences his/her approach towards a particular problem (Muhammad & Ahmad, 2010). This emphasizes the necessity of studying extroversion, and how it influences managerial assignments for current and future managers.

Recent figures posted on the international journal of trade, economics and finance indicates a positive correlation between managers who show preference on avoidance and those who prefer compromise (Muhammad & Ahmad, 2010). The study is carried out on managers who exhibit extroversion as their personality. Still from the study, there exists minimal or no relationship between extroversion and openness to experience. Managers who possess extroversion personalities prefer avoidance or compromise as the method of conflict resolution. On the contrary, a person with a bold personality is more likely to face the challenge and solve it instead of avoiding or compromising the situation.

Although there exists no relationship between extroversion and openness, a person who possess the extraversion personality may still be open to new experiences. Individuals with the extroversion personality but exhibit openness to new experiences are known to prefer compromise to avoidance. In this method of conflict resolution, parties tend to assume a win-win solution so as to remain in good terms with their counterparts (Lucas, 2000).

In conclusion, it is clear from the above findings that the personality has significant influence on the method of conflict resolution. The study on extraversion and other personality traits is essential both to the current and future investors and business people. Understanding the personality of an individual helps in choosing the best approach towards conflict.

References

Muhammad Z. S & Ahmad. U.(2010). International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance. Vol.1, No.3
Robinson, M. D. (2005). Extraversion, threat categorizations, and negative affect: A reaction time approach to avoidance motivation. Journal of Personality,73(5), 1397-1436
Nettle, D.(2005). An evolutionary approach to the extraversion continuum.Evolution and Human Behavior,26(4), 363-373.
Lucas, R. E., & Fujita, F.(2000). Factors influencing the relation between extraversion and pleasant affect.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,79(6), 1039-1056.

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