Now I know how a matador feels when they get trampled by a bull.
No, I wasn’t in a bull ring, but when the group of leaders charged at me as I entered the meeting room, I saw parts of my life flash in front of me, thinking it was my final moment in life.
The room I entered was training for my first job after graduating college. It was for an organization called QLN (Quantum Learning Network). QLN is a life-skills and academic summer program for kids. The program is known to be high-energy and a very positive environment.
On the introvert to extrovert scale, I’m right in the middle as an omnivert. I know how to turn on my external energy when needed and thoroughly enjoy my alone time. Most groups of people are roughly 1/3rd introvert, 1/3rd extrovert, and 1/3rd omnivert.
Leaders, especially extroverted leaders, tend to treat everyone as if they are an extrovert.
Leaders often get trained to greet new members with 120% energy, just like I was welcomed during my QLN training. They ignore the fact that this type of greeting turns off at least 1/3rd of the group. Their overly extroverted energy can cause the opposite effect of increasing engagement.
In Dance Floor Theory, we call these people Scary Sixes.
Scary Sixes have a level of energy that does more harm than good. They think everyone is an extrovert and process to engage everyone as such.
I’m here to tell you, don’t be a Scary Six!
Not everyone is an extrovert. This behavior turns off introverts. The overall engagement value will be negative as you’ll lose at least 1/3rd of your audience.
Here are four steps to counter becoming a Scary Six:
Initially, you should engage people with positive, upbeat energy. Just don’t be over the top.
Identify if they seem to be more introverted or extroverted.
Ramp up or tone down your energy based on their style.
Deploy your more introverted leaders to engage the introverts and vice versa.
Avoiding being a Scary Six isn’t difficult, but most extroverts don’t even realize they are one. Awareness is the first step. After reading this post, hopefully, you and your team will be more aware of reigning in Scary Sixes to engage your people better.