Introvert or Extrovert – which is better?
Updated: Jun 1
I am often asked this question and my answer requires a bit of lateral thinking. There is a general perception amongst introverts that extrovert is better. They may consider themselves too shy and may envy Richard and Rachael who are always the life and soul of the party.
Most often when I am head hunting board directors they describe their personality as quiet, shy and find it difficult making small talk at dinner parties. Yet when discussing a work related topic they are very chatty.
Ostentatious extroverts are attention seekers and consciously endeavour to portray a positive persona of themselves. They are sensitive to criticism and will defend their ego if challenged.
I would describe introverts and extroverts more in the context of my 4 Personality Types as outlined in The Psychology of Career Coaching
From my experience the Influencer is an outgoing extrovert and enjoys being centre stage. The Supporter will generally have a neutral persona and their behaviour will be dependent on the people company. If they are with close friends they will be relaxed and outgoing. If they are in the company of strangers they are more reserved. The Analyst has more of a reactive persona and will often be considered quiet and withdrawn. They will not make spontaneous conversation. Their rational mentality means that conversation must have a definite focus rather than be small talk. The Creative can be very animated when the subject is of strong personal interest otherwise they become bored quickly.
So should the introvert be more outgoing and should the extrovert tone down their over enthusiastic performance? I don’t think so. Be yourself is a good maxim. Different situations require different behaviours. And whilst the extrovert is receiving standing ovations for their performance at sales conventions, the introvert may be happily configuring and installing this exciting new gadget they have just bought.