We get a load of questions about what it’s like working together as a husband and wife team. Folks are curious and they should be.
It’s a bit odd.
But at the same time it’s really not.
What is more unique about our situation is the Introvert/Extrovert combo we’ve got going on.
Allie is more of an Introvert while I (Adam) am an extrovert. Here’s a few challenges and a few advantages of the introvert/extrovert team:
3 Challenges of the Introvert/Extrovert Team
1. Listen To Your Gut. Then Do The opposite.
When we have challenges in business, my reaction is to do more marketing, networking and PR. In a nearly comical example, Allie was expressing her desire to do remarkable work. I responded by explaining that she needed to do more public speaking….
When you’re partnering with someone who’s wired the opposite as you, it’s important to remember that your natural instincts are going to seem like foolishness to them. And vice-versa.
2. Alone Time? Networking Time?
Having a clearly defined schedule is important. There are times I look at Allie and say “I need to hang with friends and not be productive. I need that.”
She looks me in the eyes and says “I have a day of meetings tomorrow, so tomorrow night I’m going to be exhausted.”
3. Brainstorming Scheduled In Advance
I LOVE being invited to brainstorm and contribute without needing anything prepared. As an extrovert, I process ideas externally.
As an introvert, Allie brainstorms best when our topics are laid out a day in advance. An introvert will typically contribute MUCH less when put on the spot.
By outlining those topics 24 hours in advance, it allows an introvert to contribute much more.
[Thanks to Tim Miles for this tip]
3 Advantages to the Introvert/Extrovert Team
1. You Get the Best of Both Worlds
I used to be very bad at spending time by myself. My best days used to be when I was with other people from morning until late in the evening. Now I’m a bit more balanced. I’ve found a way to be with myself and not be restless.
And though she’s an introvert, Allie has benefited from me dragging her to events.
Yin & Yang. Bonnie & Clyde. Peas in a Pod.
(You get the picture….)
2. Seeking To Understand
One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is, “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”
When you’re working with someone who’s wiring is opposite yours, “seeking first to understand” becomes a way of life. And this is a good thing.
I am much more considerate of introverted clients, partners and vendors. I have a much better understanding for how they’ll react. Allie now has a much better understanding of the extremely relational clients with whom we work.
With better understanding comes better relationships.
3. Strong When You Are Weak
When we need to lock ourselves in the office and crank on work for 7 hours, who do you think carries the team? Allie.
When we need to handle a relationship with a wild client, who gets that? Adam.
Part of the beauty of an Introvert/Extrovert team is having someone you know will handle the things that drain you.
Working with an introvert has been the most rewarding business relationship I have had to date. While it requires effort, it can flow very, very naturally. Extroverts benefit greatly from introverts. Introverts fly further with an extrovert by their side.
How have you experience working with introverts or extroverts? Have any tips? Share in the comments.