WHY INTROVERTED LEADERS ARE IDEAL FOR THE POST PANDEMIC WORKPLACE | Kanebridge News
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WHY INTROVERTED LEADERS ARE IDEAL FOR THE POST PANDEMIC WORKPLACE

As an extrovert, I hate to admit it, but charisma really doesn’t improve a firm’s performance.

By LEIGH THOMPSON
Wed, Jan 31, 2024 1:27pmGrey Clock 3 min

Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations and a director of executive-education programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is the author of several books, including “Negotiating the Sweet Spot: The Art of Leaving Nothing on the Table.”

I’m an extrovert and I admit I’ve benefited from it.

Outgoing people are more likely to be noticed, selected as leaders and awarded “halo” traits—meaning that other people just assume extroverts are more likeable, intelligent and have other positive qualities. But as a social scientist, I can’t ignore the research: Most of these beliefs about extroverts simply aren’t true.

Studies show that introverts and extroverts are equally effective in academic and corporate environments, and that there is no actual relation between CEO charisma and firm performance.

Yet the misconceptions about extroverts persist, making them more likely to be chosen as leaders over their more introverted peers. That’s unfortunate because in our post pandemic world, replete with remote work, hybrid communication, far-flung team members, artificial intelligence and global disruption, introverts are particularly well-equipped to lead.

That may be hard to believe because of two persistent myths.

First is the widely held stereotype that effective leaders are gregarious, alpha and comfortable in the spotlight, even craving that attention. In reality, the social skills that extroverts display aren’t necessarily predictive of capable leadership.

Second is the belief that quieter people lack leadership skills. They are seen as less social, unassertive, sad and disconnected. Indeed, in a recent study in which people in different groups were instructed to “act like an extrovert” or “act like an introvert” regardless of their actual personalities, those who acted extroverted were disproportionately selected for leadership. And, interestingly, those who pretended to be introverted in that study reported feeling sad.

Both of these myths ignore the reality that introversion, far from being simply a lack of extroversion, is a distinct set of traits with its own large merits. This was true well before the pandemic, but the remote-work environment illuminated the bias even more and highlighted the need to change our perceptions.

Here are five reasons why introverts could be ideal leaders in the redefined workplace.

1. Remote-work performance. Extroverts’ job performance declined when the pandemic forced many businesses to go remoteA study of remote workers found that extroverted employees became less productive, less engaged and less satisfied with their jobs. A separate study found that team average extroversion had a large negative effective on team performance—that is, the more extroverted the team members were as a group, the worse they performed.

2. Dealing with adversity and change. Introverts show a greater capacity to engage, think through and make wise choices during periods of adversity and change. A recent investigation found that introverts had more positive attitudes toward AI and using AI overall than did extroverts. A separate study found that during periods of high conflict, extroverts develop fewer energizing relationships with their teammates and aren’t viewed as proactively contributing to the team. Introverts, however, often possess a predisposition for things like empathy and thoughtful communication—all critical for navigating team dynamics and conflict in tough times.

3. Creativity. Introverts’ creativity flows well in the quiet aftermath of group interactions, positioning them as formidable leaders for innovative and reflective tasks. In studies of communication and conflict, introverts’ tendency to think before speaking was seen to yield more creative solutions.

4. Avoiding avoidance. Most humans approach positive things and avoid negative things. Sounds like a good policy—unless we’re talking about workplace challenges. Research has shown that extroverts commit more passive avoidance errors—that is, when the going gets tough, they tend to avoid the situation altogether; meanwhile introverts are more likely to inspect the half-empty glass or the disappointing customer-satisfaction data, generating insights and solutions.

5. Resilience against quitting. A study of over 200 people revealed a correlation between extroversion and burnout—that is, the more extroverted a person reported themselves to be, the more likely they were to burn out. Introversion, on the other hand, was uncorrelated with burnout, suggesting better immunity.



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UAE Initiates State-Owned EV Charging Initiative to Boost Electric Vehicle Acceptance

The United Arab Emirates is improving its electric vehicle infrastructure with a new government-owned EV charging network.

Wed, May 22, 2024 2 min

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) alongside Etihad Water and Electricity (Etihad WE) have collaborated to form UAEV, a new joint venture aimed at strengthening the electric vehicle (EV) charging framework throughout the UAE. This venture is the first EV charging network entirely owned by the government, aimed at broadening access to EV charging facilities across the country.

The project seeks to revolutionize the UAE’s transport sector by enabling broader adoption of EVs via a robust and widespread charging infrastructure. This initiative is expected to strengthen communities, generate employment, and promote eco-friendly transportation options.

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “UAEV embodies the power of partnership between government and industry, and aims to provide vital electric vehicle infrastructure to boost adoption of EVs, energize communities, and unleash the economic potential of the UAE.

“We hope that this partnership will further accelerate the transition to cleaner transportation and significantly reduce emissions from the transportation sector, thereby helping to bring our Net Zero 2050 Strategy within reach.”

Sharif Al Olama, who has been appointed Chairman of UAEV, said: “In 2023, we saw a rise in EV adoption in the UAE. By expanding our EV infrastructure, we ensure the country is equipped to support those who have already purchased an EV and make the prospect of switching to EV attractive.

“Together, MoEI and Etihad WE form a powerful force that can help future-proof the UAE and achieve the twin objectives of economic growth and climate action, which underpin UAEV.”

The UAEV is also a perfect platform for Etihad WE, the largest employer in the Northern Emirates and a company with a customer base of over 2 million households, to use its core competency and enhance its product offering.

Yousif Ahmed Al Ali, CEO of Etihad Water and Electricity and Board Member of UAEV, explained: “It is part of a deliberate strategy to diversify our operations, using the knowledge and experience acquired from our role as long-standing pioneers in the energy sector, to explore new products, services, projects, and investments which will benefit our customers.

“UAEV charging infrastructure will contribute to the modernization of the UAE’s transport network, help energize communities by creating new jobs, and empower our customers to make more sustainable choices.”

 

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