Baked or Half-Baked Cake?

Overall, is your energy and communication style more like a baked cake, or a half-baked cake? This simple metaphor has powerful implications for team meetings and creative problem-solving.

Extraverted Energy and Brain Processing 

FMRi brain scans show that extraverted processing is a stream of consciousness of think-edit-speak all at once. As a result, there is transparency in the thought process because the person is literally thinking out loud to understand themselves.

In the extraverted, external processing, we’re tossing about ideas and ingredients, creating as we talk. A thought comes out of our mouths, and then we may disagree with it, and then we talk more to clarity what we just said. We present to our colleagues (spouses, family and friends) a half-baked cake.

Our thoughts are in transition. The more we talk, the more we understand where we’re going. In fact, we rarely know the conclusion until we’ve talked it through. We’re also known to embarrassingly blurt things out and then desperately long for a TAKE IT BACK button. In meetings, we can use up our talking ticket without having presented a complete and coherent thought. (Frustrating!) We also get really excited and loud together. (Anyone twitching yet?)

Introverted Energy and Brain Processing

FMRi brain scans reveal that introverted processing is a think-edit-think-edit...and then speak process. There a pauses before anwering a question, not because the person is disintereted but because the processing is internal.

In the introverted, internal process, we are often silent and expressionless until we complete our thought process. When we do talk, we offer a complete, thorough and well thought out response. We present to our colleagues (spouses, family and friends) a baked cake. And we want to express our ideas to completion. It may feel like too much talking (believe it or not) to others, but we’ve thought it through and will now share it with you. So don’t interrupt us; we finally have a talking ticket.

A Typical Rub

When extraverted preferences encounter silence, they keep talking because they think their introverted colleagues aren’t listening, aren't listening or are not engaged. Which further shuts up and irritates the introverted preferences because now there’s even less space for them to think-edit, think-edit and then speak.

Tips if You Are a Half-Baked (Extraverted) Cake

Count to 10 when there is silence! Seriously, it is your magic wand. You will allow for the pregnant pause, and the introverted ideas to emerge.  The silence may feel wrong, awkward, tortuous – like a wasted eternity.  However, you will be richly rewarded by what will emerge. I promise (and I have extraverted preferences.)

Tips if You Are a Fully-Baked (Introverted) Cake

Use a bookmarker in conversation to let your extraverted colleagues know you are present, listening and engaged. Remember, they can’t read your face because you’re processing it internally. So they’re probably thinking the worst. Toss them some breadcrumbs so they know where you are going. Then say OUT LOUD one or more of the following – regularly: Hmm…Yes…Interesting…I hear you…I’m thinking….Als

When We Welcome Our Diversity

Baked or Half-baked, we’re a 50/50 split in the population. And we all go back and forth, extraverted and introverted, all the time. However, Psychological Type theory means one of these two areas is where we FIRST and most naturally get our energy. And you can generally recognize this in conversations pretty quickly.

I’m interested in joy, creativity and innovation in my conversations. If this interests you, too, try these simple (in theory) two tips. In the reciprocity and exchange of our ideas, tremendous potential awaits.

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