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introvert manager

Extrovert Or Introvert Manager – Which One Leads Teams Better?

Every person is unique. And this holds even when you are a manager. Differences in personalities, habits, and tendencies are common in any organization. It is also true that every person adds something valuable to the organization through their unique traits. Commonly, people are understood to be either introverts or extroverts. A third category, called ambiverts, holds those who don’t fall into these clear divisions. The extent of these traits is measured on a spectrum. Therefore, no one is a complete introvert or extrovert. At most, they incline towards one end of the scale. This personality type shapes a person’s attitude. Their interactions as a manager are affected by this as well. But first, let’s understand these types.

The basis of differentiation here is their attitude towards socialization. Additionally, how a person interacts with a social situation and how their mind and body react to it form the core basis of this categorization. Their energy source – whether it is the company of people or their own – makes them an introvert or an extrovert.

Understanding the personality of managers

Introverts

Introverts are generally seen as people who avoid human interaction at any cost. But contrary to this popular depiction, introverts are simply people who find their energy in solitude. After repeated socialization, they might need a minute or two to recharge themselves. So, it does not mean that introverts cannot be good communicators. On the contrary, they can form great relationships with new people via deep communication. The initial hesitation gives way to a treasure trove. 

Extroverts

At the other end of the scale lie extroverts. They are commonly perceived as loud, gregarious, and ready for rabble-rousing. Everyone is either a friend or a potential friend for an extrovert. Extroverts get their energy from socialization and love to interact with people – known and unknown. You can usually see them expressing themselves uninhibitedly. 

Ambiverts

In the middle of the two extremities lie the ambiverts. Ambiverts are people who do not fall clearly into either of the above two groups. Instead, they show both traits depending on the situation and other factors, demonstrating a delicate balance between extroversion and introversion. 

Role of personality in management 

A manager’s personality affects their orientation and management style. It determines how they interact with their team and how much emphasis is placed on building relationships. The manager’s personality affects the quality of these relationships. The manner in which these relationships are made is also affected by personality! These relationships are crucial to managing a team effectively. 

The general perception says extroverts are always great at roles requiring good communication. However, simply having a love for sharing and being an effective communicator are two separate things. The common perception is that introverts are meek and reserved as leaders. Yet, such beliefs have turned out to be false. The classical theories of management that emphasized extroversion as a necessary trait in leaders have been disapproved largely. Some still believe the stereotypes. However, new studies have shown that people of any personality type can be influential leaders.

Whether introvert or extrovert, every manager brings value to the team through their strengths; each can shine high in different types of organizations and situations. There is no clear-cut answer to which personality type can be a good manager. 

Introvert Managers

An introvert manager would add substantial value to the team through their strengths. Primarily, they work well as managers due to the following reasons.

Good listener 

Listening is a core skill for managers. Introvert managers usually turn out to be good listeners. They can lend an ear without interruptions attached. In stressful situations, employees can reach out to them in the hope of a resolution to their problems. A leader that listens to the issues of their team appears more approachable.

Better feedback providers

 Introvert managers tend to observe their team at work without interrupting their workflow. They provide detailed and constructive feedback. As managers, they hold a keen understanding of their team with its strengths and weaknesses on which they can work. In-depth constructive feedback is beneficial for both the employees and the managers.

Cultivate loyalty

By avoiding grandiose declarations and instead working silently towards goals with their team, introvert managers can form loyal relationships. Through close interactions in small groups, they develop long-lasting relationships built on mutual understanding and trust that are set to bring gains for the organization.

However, this does not mean that there won’t be any challenges. A introvert managers can come across as passive and unenthusiastic to their employees. They might feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information arriving too. Limited interactions can provide ample space for grapevines to cultivate as well. 

Introverts in managerial roles can take note of some points to overcome these difficulties.

  • Establish strong interpersonal relationships with your team.
  • Make others aware of your boundaries regarding communication.
  • Interact with your employees, but take time in between to re-energize.

Extrovert Managers

Similarly, on the other hand, the an extrovert manager can turn around an organization as well. Some benefits that they bring along are-

Enthusiasm and motivation

The ability to motivate employees is essential to management function. An extroverted manager can infuse their team with enthusiasm and motivation of their own. Moreover, they bring in a burst of energy that sets things in motion and pushes everyone to achieve more. In an organization suffering from lethargy, this is the precise panacea.

Higher engagement

Through their initiatives and habits, extroverts kick start a constant and ongoing conversation in their team. As a result, one can achieve higher employee participation and involvement by having an extrovert at the helm of affairs. This creates harmony. People develop an attachment to their work. Extroverts take a keen interest in their job and ideas. Under their leadership, others can do it too.

Speed

Extroverts bring an element of speed with themselves into the organization. Hence, their quick-thinking mind and rapidly moving thoughts clear mental hurdles that would delay decision-making. They are set to be apt in a fast-paced environment that necessitates quick thinking. 

Extroverts can also face problems in managerial roles. Most importantly, one can mistake their enthusiasm for dominance. Others can feel intimidated. They might have a hard time speaking up freely. As social beings, they focus too much on interactions. Inadvertently, they emphasize engagements than the actual work to be carried out.

To ensure that these issues do not hamper the flow of work, extroverts can keep some points in mind:

  • Try to be a listener, ask questions and provide space for others to speak. 
  • Spend time thinking before acting.
  • Ensure that your energy does not become overwhelming for others.

Conclusion: Introverts or extroverts?

Therefore, we can see that not all is black or white on any side. The perpetual question of whether introvert managers or extrovert managers lead teams better has no simple answer. As noted, both personality types bring unique advantages to the managerial role. Similarly, unique challenges can also arise by having either an introvert or an extrovert as a manager. Both types of people can work and exchange notes to overcome challenges created by their personalities. By understanding these better, they can increase the efficiency of their management. 

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