Overshadowed—Do Extroverts Receive More Recognition Than Introverts?


When a potential promotion is in the works, who do you think will be crowned with a new title and office; the introvert or extrovert? Typically, extroverts are perceived as individuals who are socially dominant and as a result, they can potentially gain leadership roles through this method.  It’s a very natural, as well as intoxicating charm that an extrovert exudes, which is why they’re so likable.  However, you would be surprised how much we underestimate the power and work ethic of an Introvert.  Even though they have been viewed as the “silent type,” they have managed to prove they can be just as successful.  These so-called “silent types,” are slowly starting to be recognized instead, as the “strong silent types.”

The Strengths of an Introvert:

In an article provided by Forbes, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler discusses reasons why introverts can make very successful leaders.

1. They think first, talk later. Introverted leaders think before they speak. Even in casual conversations, they consider others’ comments carefully, and they stop and reflect before responding. One executive tells me that he sits back and listens to his leadership team’s ideas and proposals, often using silence to allow even more thoughts to bubble up. Learning by listening, not talking is a trait that introverts consistently demonstrate.

2. They focus on depth. Introverted leaders seek depth over breadth. They like to dig deep, delving into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. They are drawn to meaningful conversations, not superficial chitchat, and they know how to ask great questions and really listen to the answers.

3. They exude calm. Introverted leaders are low-key. In times of crisis, they project a reassuring, calm confidence and they speak softly and slowly regardless of the heat of the conversation or circumstances. Whenever they get ready for a meeting, a speech or a special event, their secret to success can be summed up in one word: preparation.

4. They let their fingers do the talking. Introverted leaders usually prefer writing to talking. This comfort with the written word often helps them better articulate their positions and document their actions. It also helps them leverage online social networking tools such as Twitter, creating new opportunities to be out there with employees, customers and other stakeholders.

5. They embrace solitude. Introverted leaders are energized by spending time alone. They suffer from people exhaustion and need to retreat to recharge their batteries frequently. These regular timeouts actually fuel their thinking, creativity and decision-making and, when the pressure is on, help them be responsive, not reactive.

The Strengths of an Extrovert:

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler also shared her insight with Bloomberg BusinessWeek about extroverts and what makes them tick.

1. Energized by people. Extroverts thrive on working with others. They like to engage anyone and everyone in conversation and even hold court as the center of attention. Without people around them, they deflate like balloons without air.

2. Talk first, think later. Extroverts make sense of the world by first talking about it. From last night’s client dinner to this morning’s team meeting, they process almost everything through talk and hardly ever come up for air. The thoughts in their head must come out, now.

3. Choose breadth over depth. Extroverts rarely go deep when discussing issues and ideas. They like batting around divergent possibilities that might (or might not) converge to create solutions, and they don’t mind moving from topic to topic.

4. Act fast and fervently. Extroverts are excited just to get moving. Their pace is quick, and as natural multitaskers, the more they can juggle, the better. They also become enthusiastic about their experiences and results.

5. Are open books. Extroverts, ironically, need not tell you what they are feeling; it is written all over their faces. Their body language can also speak volumes and, because they’re perpetual movers, it often “says” a lot.

Many people assume that extroverts, rather than introverts, will most likely thrive in a business environment and have more potential for growth—these assumptions are inaccurate and have been disproven by more than one source.  We have learned the benefits of employing extroverts, as well as, introverts and the skills they “bring to the table.”  A business could potentially risk success if one of these two groups of people, who are so vastly different from one another, don’t have a place within your company.

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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