Think about your employees. Odds are you could easily identify introverts and extroverts among the team. Who are the more social and action-oriented types? Who tends to be more quiet and contemplative? Both personality types have their distinct advantages and disadvantages in the workplace, and as their leader, an important part of your role is helping them all work together.
In a previous article, we highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses of introvert employees. Now, it’s time to turn the tables and take a look at extroverted employees, beginning with a few of the major areas where they tend to struggle.
Extroverts tend to have a “leap before they look” mentality, which isn’t inherently a bad thing. There are definitely times when immediate action is needed. However, It becomes an issue when, for example, there are more details that need to be ironed out or a project needs a more deliberate approach due to other factors, like legal requirements or confidentiality concerns.
They Lose Interest in More Menial Tasks
Extroverts are often the big picture thinkers. They’ll be the first to not only rally around a new initiative or project, they will also take the lead in building excitement and support for it. However, when it comes time to really dig into the details, analyze data in a tracking report, or perform any number of more “menial” tasks, their energy and enthusiasm comes to a screeching halt.
They Wear their Hearts on Their Sleeves
Keeping something close to the vest is a tall order for most extroverts. More often than not, you’re going to know exactly what they’re thinking or how they feel about a particular situation or decision. And although that’s not always a bad thing—passion is important—in sensitive situations when a level of decorum is needed, extroverts will struggle to keep their emotions at bay.
However, just like their introverted counterparts, extroverts also bring some important, positive characteristics to the table.
An analytical approach is a key characteristic of introverts, but at a certain point you have to stop thinking and start doing. That’s where extroverts can be a powerful asset. Throughout the planning process, they’re waiting with bated breath for the moment it’s time to put a well-thought-out plan into action. And they’ll be your most vocal proponent of a big audacious goal by helping to keep energy levels high and rally support along the way.
They’re Strong Communicators
This is where extroverts truly shine. From networking events to pitching a big new initiative to the executive committee, they are adept at not only sharing important information, but also making a genuine connection with the people they’re communicating with. They feel at home in the spotlight and have an innate ease and presence of mind when all eyes are upon them.
They’re Natural leaders
All of the characteristics mentioned in this article are key characteristics of natural-born leaders, even the negative ones on some level. Extroverts have a motivational, take-action disposition and charisma in spades. They’re excellent communicators and big picture thinkers. And most importantly, they’re passionate about the work they do and the people they lead.
The key to leading both extroverts and introverts is maximizing their strengths while also helping them address and develop their weaknesses. What are some strengths and weaknesses you’ve noticed in your extrovert employees? How have you addressed their weaknesses? How have you capitalized on their strengths? Let us know in the comments section below.