A Guide to the Pros and Cons of Extroverts in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 16, 2022 | Published December 1, 2021

Updated June 16, 2022

Published December 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

According to the introversion and extroversion personality theory, extroversion is the word for high energy, social, and persuasive people that filters individuals into one of the two behavioural categories. Due to their natural tendencies toward networking and leadership, extroverts are typically suited to highly collaborative workplaces. Understanding the numerous benefits and drawbacks of this personality type at work can help you contribute to a company culture that suits both extroverts and introverts.

In this article, we discuss several pros and cons of extroverts in the workplace, explore some of the significant benefits of introverts at work, and examine strategies for effectively balancing the two personality types.

Related: Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type and What It Means for Your Career

The pros and cons of extroverts in the workplace

Successfully balancing a team may involve a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of extroverts in the workplace. For extroverts, satisfaction and enthusiasm come from engaging with the world outside the self, where the challenges of meeting and working with others, networking, and engaging with large groups of people are commonplace. There are benefits and drawbacks to extroversion in specific scenarios in the workplace.

Still, the challenging qualities of extroverts can often be balanced out by recognition, communication, and task delegation throughout your team. Here is a detailed list of typical characteristics of extroverts (divided by their pros and cons) that may factor into your decision-making as you consider extroversion while developing your model of productivity:

Self-reliance

Pros

A self-reliant team member knows how to begin and follow through with projects. They trust in their abilities and require minimum instruction and supervision. Self-reliant extroverts, then, may require minimal instructions and often have the impulse to improvise rather than wait for permission. They may finish early, spend extra time supporting their colleagues, and help the team envision the larger project goals more clearly.

Cons

The independence of extroverts can sometimes result in a communication breakdown that slows projects down. If an extrovert doesn't have sufficient instructions, they may assume that they have everything they need and not seek further guidance. Because your team is working collaboratively, improvisation can lead to lengthy revisions and may slow productivity.

Dedication

Pros

Extroverts take charge and are goal-oriented, and they see personal and team benefits to setting targets with others and leading by example. An extrovert might elevate a team member by working with them closely and helping them focus if they think it serves the greater good.

Cons

An extrovert may focus on a single aspect of a project more than the rest of their responsibilities. An extrovert might believe that their team is effectively working when they need support. If extroverts pursue their project or role with too much dedication, they might need to have a conversation that re-establishes where their work is best applied.

Confident and friendly

Pros

Extroversion is different from confidence, but extroverts often inspire confidence in others and themselves. This confidence might lead others to approach their tasks differently and with confidence as a goal. To balance your team, it may be helpful to partner a confident extrovert with an introvert. If you know a client or professional peer who is extroverted, involving an employee who's also extroverted may allow for a memorable and satisfying meeting.

Cons

Depending on the extrovert's interactions, they might lose credibility based on how others interpret their outgoing nature. If a confident extrovert is mistaken as arrogant, the introvert's more nuanced and quiet confidence may be the corrective pairing from a managerial point of view. It may be more effective to pair an extroverted team member with a similar client for a better match.

Communicative

Pros

Many extroverts possess interpersonal skills that help them explain concepts in ways that work for the entire team. For this reason, they may be qualified as team members who can instruct and lead others. Sociability can be a vital asset with sales and outreach roles, and extroverts are often grateful for the opportunity to talk as part of their job. Their engagement with business partners or team members can result in exciting insights and unique approaches when overcoming challenges.

Cons

If your team has received their instructions, extroverts may impulsively continue a conversation that came to a natural end. While communication is necessary for working with teams, projects can stall with excess communication. A talkative extrovert may distract during a meeting that requires focus and everyone's attention. With extra help, extroverts are capable of overcoming communication difficulties.

Collaborative

Pros

Extroverted staff can be quick to share their ideas and often volunteer to assist others in producing their own. An extrovert can bring a team together and focus on valuing and supporting each team member's role.

Cons

If a team member exhibits strong signs of extroversion, they may overpower the feeling of group equality. An overly enthusiastic collaborator may appear idealistic when listening or when the group needs brief contributions. They might disrupt productivity through their efforts to network and experiment with workplace synergy.

Blunt

Pros

Straightforwardly speaking can be an asset if decisions need to be made frequently and dispassionately. You may also be able to trust an extrovert to be honest with you when you need the truth. Extroverts can establish confidence in their workplace through honesty, so having a team member who's always willing to speak their mind could raise the level of team confidence.

Cons

Too much honesty or disclosure may be confusing to some team members. Team members benefit from expressing personal boundaries, and those who speak bluntly can accidentally cross those boundaries and start conflicts. You can make boundaries an essential part of the conversation for your team to de-escalate this kind of situation. Extroverts are likely to use their social skills and respect those boundaries once team members set them.

Momentum and memory

Pros

An extrovert might quickly start a project and inspire others to follow. Setting a standard early for positive and continuous collaboration of all staff can be favourable for the company's progress. Sometimes extroverts demonstrate expert-level memory recall, which can keep a project focused and moving. Team members with excellent memories might speed up onboarding thanks to their ability to remember details of the people they work with and their experience.

Cons

While extroverts are often effective at setting the pace and attitude in a workplace, they can disrupt a pre-existing workplace dynamic if they're unaware. Communicating with extroverts before introducing them to a new workplace can minimize the impact and help integrate the extrovert into your team. At moments when it's important to move forward and maintain momentum, those with excellent recall might stall productivity by including excessive details from memory. Some topics are context-sensitive, and extroverts may overstep in using their quick memory.

Related: Best Careers for ENFP Personalities

The benefits of introverts in the workplace

Acknowledging the existence of extroverts is a tacit acknowledgement of introverts, which are the opposite. Introverts blend into environments rather than stand out. They may prefer solo work to working with teams and find ways to avoid social gatherings. There are constructive ways to balance the pros and cons of extroverts in the workplace without resorting to punitive measures. One opportunity might involve raising introverts to lead in areas where extroverts need support. Introverts learn to thrive with opposing tendencies that extroverts may not recognize or enjoy.

Introverts may have an intuitive tendency toward precision, detail, and routine. In scenarios that benefit from methodical and steady leadership, an introvert can contain and channel the energy of extroverts according to careful planning. Another opportunity to bring balance to the workplace is recognizing when and where your extroverted staff could benefit from introvert training. While comfortable silence, speaking softly, and waiting to speak without interruption are skills that may be intuitive to introverts, anyone can practise the characteristics of introversion in the effort to work effectively together.

Related: Top 18 Jobs Introverts Enjoy

Introverts and extroverts in the workplace

Acknowledging, including, and encouraging introverts can bring balance to a team and add perspective in times of nuanced decision-making. Conversely, the talents of extroverts can be intentionally applied when new clients are touring your factory floor or when making an enthusiastic pitch. Encourage your team to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator self-assessment and begin an open conversation about where they can find their strengths. Exploring the benefits and differences between different personality characteristics can be highly productive for your organization.

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