Episode #985 Jennifer Kahnweiler: The Genius of Opposites

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Moe and Jennifer Kahnweiler talk about introverts and extroverts and how to perform the delicate balancing act required to create a whole that is exponentially greater than the sum of its parts.


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Jennifer Kahnweiler

Champion for Workplace Introverts View Full Profile

How Introverts and Extroverts Can Coexist

If you’re an introvert, this is a conversation you don’t want to miss.  

Roughly two years ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Kahnweiler about her work with introverts, and it was at that time that I started to rationalize the cultural biases that continue to limit opportunities for approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population, and in the process, deprive organizations of an amazing pool of talent.  Having been guilty of hiring more extroverts in sales and marketing roles, I look back at those missed opportunities and wonder how much more impact our team could have had if only we learned to leverage the talents of those who preferred to listen than talk.

Observe great leaders and you’ll notice astute men and women who celebrate individual diversity, and hardly treat any two people the same.  Unlike the traditional manager, these exceptional ones adapt to the personalities of their subordinates respecting that each is built differently, both in personality and purpose.  Often, they’ll over-invest upfront to select the right talent, and once they define a clear outcome, they get out of the way;  to them, success occurs when they stop focusing on differences.

The next layer of Jennifer’s work breaks down the barriers between Introverts and their counterparts by understanding the delicate balance required to forge a meaningful partnership.  In this follow-up conversation, we turn our attention to her latest book, The Genius of Opposites, to discuss the five step process that she found central to elevating the introvert/extrovert relationship.  

Here’s what we discuss:

  • The unexpected facts about introverts

  • The introvert in each of us and how to harness it

  • The five step ABCDE process that ignites the Genius of Opposites

  • What introverts expect from their leaders & how leaders are responding

  • Managing conflict & the power of time-outs

  • The mental shift required to accept coaching from my opposite

  • The one discipline that will enhance your self-awareness

  • Resources: