Introvert or Extrovert: Which Is Better for Business?

Opposites attract – especially in the corporate world. Career success is often associated with extroverted, assertive professionals, but we’ll show you why even the quiet, introverted ones of the bunch are just as valuable as the rest when it comes to business.

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(Photo Credit: Ghost of Kuji/Flickr)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a widely used tool to categorize individuals into 16 personality types for the purpose of helping people understand their “type” and utilize their strengths effectively. Lindsey Mead pointed out in her Huffington Post article, “Myers-Briggs, Women in Business and the World at Large,” that the ENTJ (Extroverted, INtuitive, Thinking, Judging) personality type is the most prevalent amongst MBA students and small business owners, in general.

Mead was greatly discouraged when she discovered that not only did she fall in a “type” that was almost the complete opposite of ENTJ (she is an INFJ), but that her type also happens to be the rarest personality type among women (1 percent). This might not be such a bad thing, if you’re considering the fact that ENTJs are also "more likely than average to suffer from cardiac problems," according to Truity.com

Don’t fret if you fall under one of the introverted personality types, because you’re just as valuable as an extrovert, according to Susan Cain. In her TEDTalk presentation, Cain makes a valid argument about introverts being an undervalued and overlooked group of leaders, and she provides three main points as to why introverts are able to hold their own in the business world:

1. Introverts are ignored for leadership-type roles, despite introverts tending to be very careful and less likely to take on "outsized risks."

2. Introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes than extroverts because they are less likely to impose their ideals onto their employees and more likely to encourage them to "run with their ideas."

3. Because introverts and extroverts bring unique ideas to the table, there needs to be a better mix of the two in leadership circles to promote a more balanced outcome in the end.

Cain isn’t suggesting that introverts are superior to extroverts, but rather that both personality types complement each other to create a well-balanced flow, especially in the business world. Therefore, if companies want to thrive and maintain constant innovation, then they should look to hire and create teams with an equal balance of introverts and extroverts. 

Even if you’re not an ENTJ or another personality type that promises you success in business, you can recognize the unique skills and personality traits that you already possess and learn how to capitalize on them. Take some advice from Dr. Seuss himself: “There is no one alive who is Youer than You,” so figure out how to make the most of what you have and confidently be on your way to career success!

Tell Us What You Think

What's your Myers-Briggs personality type and how has it positively affected your career? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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