You Might Be Surprised: Extravert or Introvert – Part II

by Ron Potter

Is Tom the talker an Extravert or Introvert?

Spoiler alert!!!  To fully appreciate this blog take just a minute and read our last post that sets the stage for understanding Tom.

You Might Be Suprised

As we closed our last look at Tom we had just spent the day walking around one of Tom’s plants listening to him tell stories and respond quickly to problems presented to him.  After all, Tom was the president, who else to better solve the problems that had been presented?  But then we were headed to the next plant visit.

So we buckled in and I remained quiet for a good half hour of our drive.  At about that point in time Tom would get on his phone, give the plant manager a call and reverse about 70% of the decisions he had made on the spot while we had walked around the plant that day.  Satisfied that the plant manager and he were now on the same page Tom would hang up.

I had to ask Tom what had just transpired.  Tom’s response, “Well now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I believe the latest decisions are the best in the end.”  When I asked him what was now going on back at the plant, his response was “Ron, I trust that team.  I know that after they had time to think about it they probably came to the same conclusion that I did and I was just confirming with them that we were on the same page.”  No Tom, they’ve been telling me how disruptive your visits are because they’ve been carrying out the decisions that were “made” during the walk around and now they’re trying to figure out how to reverse all those actions.

Tom was an Introvert.  Tom needed some quiet time to think about and process decisions.  Tom was also a talker.  Don’t assume that talkers are Extraverts.  It may surprise you.

We changed Tom’s whole routine.  We still did the plant walkabout but when people tossed him an issue to solve he would say, “Give me some details and then let’s talk about it at the staff meeting later this afternoon.”  Tom now had the time to think about the issues and speak more intelligently with his team about it “now that he’s had a chance to think about it.”  Tom was an Introvert.  It might surprise you.

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