The Personality of the Workplace
With unemployment levels at their lowest rate in 18 years, finding the right candidate across various aspects of performance and personality can be a challenge. The complexity of the interview process has expanded to focus more on soft skills and cultural fit. Over the last couple of decades, the tech industry has created a widespread shift to place more emphasis on company culture and employee perks to attract and retain top talent. Whether you are hiring someone to join a large team or a startup’s first employee, attention to personality types is necessary—even as an exercise in self-awareness.
While you will not be able to categorize personality types as binary as introvert or extrovert, many people do tend to sway more towards one type or the other. Carl Jung first theorized about introversion and extroversion personality types and since then various academics have expanded on how to classify personality. From type A, B, C and D to the 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs type indicator. These types and indicators seem to offer more granularity into how introverted or extroverted any given person is.
Introverts and extroverts will have varying skill sets that make some aspects of a particular role more advantageous while simultaneously putting them at a disadvantage in other areas. In business especially, your personality is scrutinized and your weaknesses highlighted. If you prefer to work alone and find the most productivity in that time or you thrive in collaboration, it’s best to feed the flames of your best self.
Extroversion at work
Extroverts are typically very charismatic which makes it easier for them to speak in public. This gives them an advantage during the face-to-face interview process. Extroverts often have a positive outlook which allows them to do well in a sales or fundraising scenario. A study actually found that optimistic salespeople sold 37 percent more than their pessimistic counterparts. Networking events and presentations are also a strength for extroverts, but they might have trouble focusing for longer stretches of time.
Impulsivity is another area that troubles many extroverts, which is why extroverts should aim to focus on goal setting and tracking. Another thing to watch out for with the extroverted is active listening which can be boiled down from a lack of focus. If you are extroverted yourself, try to give the speaker or interviewer your undivided attention.
Introverted yet Assertive
Introverts working in small groups or starting small businesses become energized by working alone. This can be difficult at the times when working with others is necessary. While many introverts are extremely creative and contemplative, they have difficulty speaking to groups and meeting new people.
Introverts also score highly on self-motivation but require time without distractions to truly thrive. It might behoove you as an introvert to allot time within your calendar where you are in a do not disturb mode. Introspection is necessary to recognize faults and grow within a role, company or relationship and this is an exercise that comes naturally to introverts. While extroversion has been rewarded in the workplace for decades, many people are beginning to see how important introverts are to an organization.
While recognizing any given person’s strengths and weaknesses is essential to find the proper role within the workforce, it is also important to understand the complementary nature of personality types. It takes a team comprised of varying personality types to deliver a great product or service. The key to unlocking any team’s potential is to find the best possible combination of personalities for the highest possible performance. Implement tips from the visual below from Fundera when considering the strengths and weaknesses of introverts and extroverts.
About the author: Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners. Passionate about tech, entrepreneurship and all things social.