Extroversion And Introversion: Two Ends Of The Spectrum
Personalities vary. There are no two persons on the planet who are exactly alike in terms of their feelings expression and behavior. This statement holds true even when it comes to identical twins who by definition possess the very same DNA. From the moment they leave the womb they experience environments that are at least slightly different. Some even experience this difference before birth with one twin receiving more nutrients than the other and therefore being born larger and stronger. Still, with all of this in mind the most distinct difference that most people observe has to do with introversion and extroversion. This particular concept lies at the heart of this essay and will be discussed in detail as follows.
Introversion in lay terms
Most likely you have encountered someone before who seems reserved and unwilling to mingle when placed in social situations where strangers are present. They may not exactly be shy but being in crowds is uncomfortable. For such people, being at the center of attention feels mentally exhausting and they do everything in their power to avoid that position. These people are known as introverts. They may have rich imaginative lives and be very creative but feel most comfortable expressing that creativity away from the spotlight. For those who feel drawn to the stage, they often adopt another persona for their performances and only show their true selves to trusted friends and loved ones.
Extroversion in lay terms
On the other end of this spectrum, you will definitely have encountered at least a few people who are quite the opposite of what we just discussed above. They are often the ones who approach strangers first at social gatherings and love being the center of attention. For the, discomfort comes from being all alone or worse yet, being in a crowd and being ignored. These people are known as extroverts and they will go out of their way to participate in social activities that help strengthen the bonds between them and the pack to which they believe they belong.
While most places on Earth have a mixture of introverts and extroverts, there are actually societal traits that make people more likely to favor one personality trait over another. There is a much greater respect for extroversion in western societies which tend to be more individualistic. In eastern societies that are more focused on the welfare of the group many cultural constructs support introversion.
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As my public speaking class draws to an end, I’ve decided to share the speeches I wrote for the class. Yesterday, I shared the last speech, today, I’ll share the first speech I wrote for the class. As you read, please keep in mind that this is an informative speech.
Difference between Introvert and Extrovert
True or False? Introverts are quiet and shy, extroverts are wild. False. People who prefer introversion just tend to think before they speak while extroverts tend to speak before they think. However, with these two completely polar opposite personalities, don’t you wonder how they will get along in a group? First, though we have to define what really makes an introvert and extrovert, then we’ll compare and contrast the two personalities in a group and leadership setting.
What categorizes one as an introvert or an extrovert? Well, it depends. From the research of psychiatrist Carl Jung, introversion and extroversion refers to the origin of our energy or what energizes us and what drains our energy. However, contrary to popular beliefs, introverts are not quiet or shy, they are simply those who prefer to observe before they speak rather than the other way around. For example, when socializing with strangers, introverts tend to want to get to know the person better before sharing their inner thoughts and beliefs. Extroverts are the opposite of that. They are those who have no problem speaking to a large group of strangers. Basically, extroverts get their energy from being surrounded by people while introverts get their energy by focusing internally on thoughts, ideas, and reflection. What happens in a group setting, when introverts and extroverts are forced to communicate? According to senior organizational consultant at the University of Arizona, Mark Trommer, “it can be hard for people to communicate with one another if they have different styles.”
And now, we are going to compare and contrast between those different styles. First of all, you should know that the effectiveness of introverted and extroverted leadership is dependent upon the type of work structure. Under the leadership of an introvert, team members tend to be proactive. It is the team members’ duty to take the initiative in introducing changes and new ideas to the team. Therefore, experts believe that the performance of a team led by an introvert tends to perform better. On the other hand, under the leadership of an extrovert, team members tend to be dutifully followers looking for guidance. They do what they are told and their leader tends to feel threatened when a team member attempts to introduce a new idea to the team because it would mean the team member is stealing the spotlight. Let’s apply those characteristics to a real life experiment conducted by the University of Carolina.
This experiment was conducted by Adam Grant and David Hoffman and it is an experiment to test whether higher performance would come from passive employees as when being led by an extrovert or proactive employees as when being led by an introvert. The profits of 57 different stores of a single US pizza chain were compared over 7 weeks and it is according to whether the store manager is an extrovert or an introvert. The results show that the stores with extroverted managers earned 16% more profit than the stores led by an introverted leader while stores led by an introvert earn 14% less profit.
So there you have it, the quantitative analysis between extroverted and introverted leadership in a group setting. Just to recap, introverted leaders are most effective when the team members are proactive while extroverted leaders are most effective when the team members are passive, meaning they’re followers. Based on the experiment’s results, does this mean the company should only hire extroverts for manager positions? Does this proof extroverts make the best leaders? I guess we’ll find out.