The Power Of Quiet In Collaboration

This beautiful short film, produced by the RSA, features the artwork of Molly Crabapple, with the voice of Susan Cain in the background.

I find it particularly interesting, because it shows that the most successful partnerships are often where introverts and extroverts work together. For example, Steve Wozniak (introvert) and Steve Jobs (extrovert) made Apple what it is today – and without either one of them, Apple would probably not have been so successful.

I am only too aware that extroverts possess abilities that I will never have, or which would cause me to feel exhausted if I forced myself into them. I’m looking forward to exploring this aspect in more depth, interviewing introverts who collaborate with extroverts, to see just what makes the pairing work so well.


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2 comments… add one

  • That’s a really interesting video Julia, thanks for finding it!

    Even though as a psychologist I should really buy into things like psychometric measures of personality and traits they always seem so one dimensional- ticks in boxes tell you you are one way or another. The tests are designed to counter balance the effects of variation (ie I feel a bit more ‘extravert’ today) so the findings are consistent however you are feeling on any given day. But to be honest I’m not sure. People can vary so much from day to day and situation to situation. The underlying characteristics may be stable, but I wonder if the more superficial presentation has more of an impact than we give credit for.
    As you know, Chris and I work together in a very complimentary way. I know I’m an introvert who can turn on extroversion when required. I still have no clue what Chris is even though I really should have it figured out by now! It works though…
    cheers
    Hannah

  • Julia Barnickle

    I totally agree that psychometric tests don’t take variations into account, Hannah – although I suppose that’s the point of them. They’re intended to give a broad-brush definition of someone’s personality – but, as you say, people’s behaviour can vary from day to day and situation to situation. I tend to see personality profiles a bit like horoscopes – you can read almost anything you want into them. I do think they can be useful as an indication of why someone feels or behaves the way they do – as long as they are not taken literally, or as a 100% accurate representation of an individual person’s character.
    I didn’t know I was an introvert until fairly recently – and yet, despite my ignorance, I’ve always managed to make my introversion work for me. Like you, I can also turn on extroversion when required. As long as how we’re behaving works well, the label doesn’t really matter!

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