I recommend that all trainers read Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. For those of you who are extroverts it will give you insight into the world of introverts. Some of the people you assume are aloof, standoffish, disinterested in your class because they do not openly participate, may simply be introverts.
For those of you, like myself, who are introverts it will validate some of the things you are feeling, reinforce some of the strategies you use and provide some new strategies to help you successfully navigate the world. Cain talks about the fact that as an introvert you can be a situational extrovert and be effective as a trainer and speaker. You just need strategies to help manage your energy.
While it may be comfortable, and even energizing, for an extroverted trainer to stand at the door and greet every person coming into a classroom or auditorium for their class or presentation, it may drain the energy out of an introvert before the class even starts. As an introvert you may need some quiet time or alone time before the start of the class allowing you to have greater energy during your presentation, which is the most important consideration.
While an extrovert may be energized by going out for lunch with a group of people at the midpoint of a full day class or seminar they are teaching, by lunch those of us who are introverts likely need some alone time to recharge our batteries and get ready for the afternoon.
While an extroverted trainer may get energized by going out after class and hanging out with a group of people, we introverts generally want to just go home or go to our room if we are on the road and order room service.
At conferences while extroverts may draw energy from the hospitality room environments, we introverts would prefer to go to dinner with one or two people and engage in quiet, but deep conversation and skip the hospitality room all together.
When speaking at an event like TEDx or WINx an extrovert may draw energy from mingling with the crowds before the event and during the breaks, we introverts will likely look to find a quiet place where we can hang out by ourself prior to, and maybe even after, our presentation.
There is no right or wrong here. The key is to know yourself and know what you need to do to manage your energy so you can deliver the best possible training to the people you have the privilege and donor of serving.
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