To be a great leader, you need to be an “ambivert.” That’s the gist of new research from the University of Pennsylvania. What’s an ambivert? It’s the term scientists use to describe people who are neither an extrovert nor an introvert. Meaning, they’re not quiet, but they’re also not loud. They know how to assert themselves, but they’re not pushy. Instead, their personality is right in the middle.
In a new study, researchers rated a team of sales reps as either “introverts,” “extroverts” or “ambiverts.” Then, they compared how successful the salespeople were, and to the researchers’ surprise, the ambiverts blew away the competition! In fact, their average earnings were a whopping 24% higher than the more outgoing extroverts.
Why’s that a big deal? Experts say it’s because when it comes to hiring people for leadership positions, many companies today look for extroverted personalities because a lot of us assume that extroverts have the confidence and people skills to lead others, close deals, and boost business. But it turns out, that’s not true at all!
Instead, extroverts tend to talk too much, and listen too little. They tend to care more about being liked, than they do about getting things done. Plus, their big, outgoing personalities can overwhelm people, rather than encourage them! And those are not the qualities needed to be a good leader.
But ambiverts strike just the right balance. They know when to push people, and when to hold back and when to speak up, or shut up! And that kind of even-keel personality can make you successful whether you’re selling cars, or leading a Fortune 500 company!
And here’s the best part: Surveys show that most of us are naturally ambiverts. Because only a rare few people turn out to be true introverts or extroverts.