#346 – The Introvert-Extrovert Duo
Friday Ship #346 | May 5th, 2023
This week, Alicia and Lorena – an introvert and an extrovert – got together to chat about their experiences at work.
As an introvert and an extrovert, we have very different ways of approaching work and connecting with our teammates.
In this Q&A, we share our insights on our favorite work-related activities, the most draining aspects of our workdays, and our preferred ways to connect with our colleagues.
So, whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, we hope our conversation can provide valuable insights and tips for working effectively with your colleagues.
Alicia: Introvert 😺
Lorena: Extrovert 🐶
If you could have one extroverted/introverted superpower at work, what would it be?
😺 Alicia: Some people have a knack for asking really good questions to draw people into conversation. I’ve been on the receiving end of this and, especially as an introvert, I always appreciate it. Lorena is someone who is very good at this and I’d love to learn how she does it!
🐶 Lorena: Active listening is a superpower Alicia has that I would love to have. Introverts can be more reserved in social situations, but they often excel at active listening. Mastering this skill could help me better understand my colleagues’ perspectives, communicate more effectively, and build stronger relationships with my teammates.
What’s your favorite work-related activity that brings out your introverted/extroverted side?
😺 Alicia: Parabol’s governance process suits my introverted ways of processing information perfectly. The async, written format allows me to consider the proposal on my own time and for as long as I need. I don’t have to worry about missing my chance to speak or being spoken over, and I can take my time to formulate my questions and reactions.
🐶 Lorena: Sync brainstorming sessions are my go-to activity when it comes to bringing out my extroverted side at work. There is something about the in-real-time ideation and discussion that really gets my extroverted side fired up. I feel energized by the collaborative nature of it, and I enjoy hearing others’ ideas out loud. This helps me think more creatively and shape my own thoughts.
What’s the most draining thing at work for you as an introvert/extrovert?
😺 Alicia: I’ve been finding user research interviews particularly draining. This is the time when I put on my “extrovert mask” to try to make the interviewee feel comfortable. There is a lot of processing information on the spot, which is particularly challenging with someone I’ve never met before.
🐶 Lorena: As an extrovert in a remote/async setting, I find the absence of nonverbal cues to be challenging sometimes. In face-to-face interactions, I rely on nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language to better understand how people are feeling. But, when communicating remotely, these cues can be difficult to pick up on. This can leave me feeling like I’m missing out on important information and context, which can be draining.
What’s your go-to way to connect with other teammates?
😺 Alicia: I love one-on-ones. They help me understand the way a teammate thinks and give us an opportunity to find things in common. They help me become more comfortable in team settings and collaborating, especially when trying to understand others’ perspectives.
🐶 Lorena: While group settings are fun and energizing, I also prefer one-on-one conversations. I am able to give my full attention to a teammate and engage in meaningful conversations without the distractions of a group setting. Also, it helps me connect with other colleagues that are not as extroverted as me, like Alicia ♥️.
How do you prioritize self-care as an introvert/extrovert in a remote work environment? Any strategies?
😺 Alicia: My strategy for remote and office environments are actually the same — going for a walk. Taking time away from screens and information overload to process is key. This is a bit easier in a remote environment because there is more opportunity to step away from work noise, even if it’s just to another room.
🐶 Lorena: When I need to do deep work by myself and know I’ll feel drained from lack of interaction, I experiment with different environments like coffee shops or co-working spaces. This fulfills my need for social stimulation and helps me take breaks from being too much in my head. By immersing myself in a new environment, I recharge my batteries and return to my work with renewed focus and energy.
Collaborating with someone whose working style is different from your own doesn’t have to be a challenge, but rather an enriching experience. At Parabol, we’re committed to building a tool that supports introverts and extroverts alike, ensuring that every meeting is inclusive of different working styles.
We’re always looking for new ways to embrace diversity and make everyone feel valued in the workplace.
So, we’d love to hear from you! 💜
What are some strategies your team uses to support different working styles?
After two weeks of consistent platform usage growth, we noticed a dip in the number of weekly meetings. This may be attributed to the shorter work week due to the Labor Day holiday.
This week we…
…held our monthly User Feedback Retro where we gathered and discussed insights, requests, feedback, and suggestions from our users.
…went live on Pinterest 📌
…wrapped up our user research process exploring the Insights feature. We’re very excited about all the feedback and insights we received from users.
…welcomed back Charles, our Head of Sales, from his parental leave.
Next week we’ll…
…take a break from our usual sprint schedule to work on projects that are personally important to us. We call it Hack Week, where we focus on the issues that matter the most to us, even if they’re not directly related to our sprint goals.