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Published 15 April 2013 10:38, Updated 16 April 2013 06:49
Extroverts take note: If you are going to turn up the volume, make sure you deliver, or your team if likely to judge you harshly. Photo: Fairfax Media
If your office is full of loud, showy extroverts fighting it out for everyone’s attention while you do the work, take heart.
New research from the US shows that while the extroverts might be good at grabbing the headlines, it’s the quiet neurotic types who win in the long run.
Forbes reports a new paper, The downfall of extroverts and rise of neurotics: The dynamic process of status allocation in task groups, by UCLA Anderson school of Management’s Corinne Bendersky and Rutgers Business School’s Neha Parikh Shah, finds that expectations about extroverts run ahead of their actual contributions to a team.
Often brought in for the “energy” they will bring to a team, extroverts had trouble living up to a team’s heightened expectations and were often appraised critically as a result, Bendersky and Shah report.
In contrast, more neurotic types tend to work harder for the team and outperform often modest expectations.
Over time team members’ assessments of the neurotic workers rise while appraisals of extroverts decline, the pair report in their paper, which is due to be published in the April issue of the Academy of Management Journal.
“The extroverts are probably going to contribute less to the team and the contributions they make will be undervalued by the team,” Bendersky tells Forbes.
Feelings of inadequacy help more neurotic team members contribute more, she says.
“The core of an extroverted personality is to be attention-seeking,” she says.
“It turns out they just keep talking, they don’t listen very well and they’re not very receptive to other people’s input. They don’t contribute as much as people think they will.”
The personality-type theories which provide definitions such as introvert and extrovert have a controversial relationship with business and management. Many question whether instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are overused and less scientifically valid than is commonly believed.
In March senior lecturer in psychology at Melbourne-based Monash University, Dr Simon Moss, told BRW the MBTI is used because it provides simple answers.
“I would argue that [its popularity] isn’t going to diminish for a while because, in the work environment, people are seeking simple – and even simplistic – solutions,” he says.