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Introvert vs the extrovert manager


The workplace is a melting pot of personalities — extroverts, introverts, ambiverts … All types of employees must work together and manage personal differences to achieve one common goal. Today the focus is on the introvert vs the extrovert manager.

Recently, an associate penned a reference letter on my behalf. It was well written except for one error. She referred to me as being ‘shy’ because I exhibit mostly introverted trait. She made the common mistake of confusing ‘quiet’ for ‘shy’. I explained to her that I simply prefer a small intimate gathering with people who I know well. Then, I asked her to make the change in the letter.

Carl Jung said, “There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Introverts and extroverts are the two extremes of the personality continuum. They are not fixed.” Despite social preferences, there are no right or wrong personality for leadership, ‘the task-oriented, reflective individual who could spend hours in her office getting work done and the exuberant elbow rubber who’s happiest circulating among peers and employees’ can both be great leaders in the right environment.

Daniel Threlfall, in a recent article titled “Are the best managers introverts, extroverts, or somewhere in-between?”, said “As a manager, it’s important to understand your personality – both its advantages and its disadvantages – so you can leverage it to become a better leader.”
Glenn Hughes, director of Global Learning, said “A key strength of extrovert leaders is what is called a “bias for action,” the ability to keep moving and operating without a full plan in place. A weakness includes a lack of depth of thought, with more talking than listening.

“Introverts find it easy to listen deeply to others, to take in what the other person is saying, and then use that information to make informed decisions. A weakness may include difficulty exuding the confidence of a loud voice and a struggle to build a strong network of business contacts and allies.”

Whether you are an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, the key to your success is to master your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

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