A few months ago, I was talking shop with a relative who works in management at a large public library. She was lamenting the fact that libraries tend to attract introverts – the sort of person who would rather follow safe lists of rules than take a chance on interacting with other people. One of her constant challenges is to chase staff out from behind their desks to talk to patrons, since the library’s mission is to connect people with the knowledge they need, not to make safe, orderly stacks of old books.
Boy, did this sound familiar.
Credit unions also tend to attract plenty of introverts.
But while introverts seem to be in the majority, without some balance from extroverts and the ability to take calculated risks, CUs can find themselves in the same trap of paying more attention to making and following rules instead of understanding and adapting to the needs of their members.
From our perspective, the marketing field tends to have a few more of the extroverts, and this can cause a lot of frustration for CU marketers working within an essentially introverted system. The most successful CU marketers have learned to speak the language of introverts — and, most importantly, to genuinely respect their contributions.
Conversely, the most successful introverts respect the abilities of extroverts – there are several times clients have told us “we understand that we’re too conservative – we need you to help us push this further.”
A little mutual respect is a beautiful thing.
Yes, the title is my little shout-out to Maurice Sendak. After all, we could all use little more wild rumpus in our lives.
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