The stereotypes of introverts and extroverts often cannot be distinguished in business leadership roles. Business professionals must interact with people on a regular basis, so no one person is strictly introverted. The key is how these two personality types derive their energy for socialization.
Deanna White helps deconstruct clinical psychologist Dr. Joan Pastor's take on introverts and extroverts. During her 40-year career, Pastor found humans typically base their leadership skills, happiness and success on tendencies to be inwardly motivated or outwardly sociable. Business leaders can rise to the top using either tenet. Recognize which personality type you favor more, and use that knowledge to your advantage.
The major difference between introverts and extroverts lies in how the two types get their energy and fuel their passions. Introverts become psychologically stimulated by turning inward, thinking about situations and replaying aspects of a problem over in their minds. Introverts can become mentally drained by having too much contact with other people. Extroverts thrive on interaction with their peers and engage in outwardly pursuits. These personality types find comfort in discussing situations with others, talking it out and speaking what is on their minds.
These two personality types are not mutually exclusive. Not everyone is 100 percent introverted or all the way extroverted. However, most people favor one style over another in daily interactions. Do not believe the false premise that all business leaders must be extroverts. Bill Gates and J.K. Rowling both thought of themselves as introspective, inwardly turning introverts. The key is how introverts and extroverts convert their skills to an advantage.
Extroverts are great public speakers. They rally the troops at meetings and motivate the masses through their words and feelings. Extroverts also tend to recognize the emotional skills of co-workers and read people's emotions better. Emotional intelligence is why extroverts seem to make better salespeople. Extroverted personalities see positive qualities in others more often, a facet that makes these types of people great motivators and encouragers.
Introverts facilitate others' goals by focusing on the rest of the team. Introverted personalities would rather meet people one-on-one rather than in a large group, which leads to a more personalized leadership style. Introverts tend to focus on a single problem, and they try to take pertinent, step-by-step moves to solve a dilemma. Introverts excel at analyzing a difficulty and solving it.
One misconception in the business world is that introverts are not as valued as extroverts. Both styles have likable personalities, and both introverts and extroverts can become good leaders. Introverts drive sales by analyzing, researching and studying data, while extroverts pull at heart strings. Ambiverts have the best of both worlds and go between introspection and interaction. Once introverts overcome a general feeling of shyness, they can become dynamite sales leaders.
Introverts and extroverts in leadership roles have two common traits. They put others first, and they love to delegate to get things done. Businesses cannot completely ignore introverts, nor can owners unabashedly rely on extroverts, because both facets are necessary to run a business or be a manager.
Photo courtesy of Vic at Flickr.com
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