Unlocking the Genius of Opposite Pairs

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., Certified Speaking Professional, is a best-selling author and global keynote speaker who is known as the “Champion of Introverts.” Her latest book, The Genius of Opposites, was released August 17th. The Wright Brothers, Mick and Keith, Jobs and Wozniak. Throughout history, odd couple partnerships of introverts and extroverts have created brilliant new products, great works of art, and have even changed history together. But these partnerships of opposites don’t just happen. They demand wise nurturing.

Through hundreds of conversations during and after my presentations and in numerous dialogues with my online community, people asked about how to get along with the “other half.” In fact, I have wanted to know this, too. I’m an extrovert who has been married to an introvert for forty years. While we were dating, I found Bill’s quiet, calm demeanor endearing. A year into our marriage, I found his long pauses irritating. Fortunately, learning about introvert/extrovert preferences helped me to reframe his long pauses and accept his need to think first before he spoke. From my latest research, I culled the key lessons and themes of conversations with hundreds of introvert/extrovert relationships, and boiled down their secret sauce into five key steps to make opposites more efficient and effective. I placed the key elements into an easy to remember five-step ABCDE process featured in my new book, The Genius of Opposites. My hope is, by following the process, I can awaken your own genius when encountering the opposites you interact with on a regular basis, creating results you never could have produced alone.

A= Accept the Alien – You can’t change your opposite, but you can try better to understand them. Once you are able to accept this fact, you are in for much less stress. B= Bring on the Battles – See disagreements as necessary to arriving at better outcomes because you challenge each other to come up with better solutions together than you would alone. C= Cast the Character – Know each person’s role in a scenario and cast him or her so that you bring out your opposite’s best in that role. Opposites share the credit no matter what role they take. D=Destroy the Dislike – When you respect each other and act like friends, you can talk openly and have fun.

E= Each Can’t Offer Everything – Know that each one of you is incapable of offering everything and that for true diversity you must work in concert to provide the widest range of options to others.

Working on your opposite relationship takes work but it is so worth the effort. When introverts and extroverts stop focusing on their differences but on the results they are trying to achieve they are so much more successful. They can step fully into their strengths for the benefit of the project in ways that teams without opposites could not.

Experience this book - The Genius of Opposites