⚠️ WARNING, a brain dump coming. Despite such great progress in personality theory and testing (e.g. big five, hexaco), it is unfortunate that we are still using dichotomous models (extrovert/introvert) to describe or, I would stay, classify people (including leaders) into categories. 🤦‍♂️ I guess, the reason behind the overuse of such classifications is their simplicity: you are either this or that, so why bother? However, just because the model is simple and easy to use, it does not mean that it is valid and reliable. Still not convinced? If so, you should look at more complex versions of the model (e.g. Jungian, MBTI) which essentially suggest that extroverted/introverted are not people's personalities themselves but rather their personality functions. Therefore, you get people who, let's say, are ENTJs. What is unique about them? Well, they have extroverted thinking (primary function), introverted intuition (2nd), extroverted sensing (3rd), and introverted feeling (4th). Example 1️⃣: think of orators or business leaders (e.g. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs) who usually come up with ideas while talking out loud, e.g. speaking to others (therefore, extroverted thinking), and rely a lot on their intuition based on creativity (therefore, introverted intuition). Or you get INTPs whose personality functions are ordered in the same sequence, but temperament is mirrored, i.e. thinking is introverted (1st), intuition is extroverted (2nd), etc. Example 2️⃣: think of engineers and scientists (e.g. Albert Einstein) who are also very insightful, but they prefer thinking in private (therefore, introverted thinking) and using intuition based on observation (therefore, extroverted intuition). If we go on, we will get at least 16 varieties of extroverts and introverts‼️ And to me, the model still does not do justice. Why? Because the model does not account for type variety. For instance, two people who are considered ENTJ can demonstrate different degrees of extroverted thinking, despite that it is their primary function. Therefore, models such as big five are much more scientific and valid, as they are tested against huge population samples and provide percentiles of traits rather than categories. Moral of if this thought dump: using only two types to classify people is fun, but too simplistic, unproductive, and, with all due respect to those who do not know better, super lazy, especially if we want to understand people rather than classify them.
Who is more effective as a leader, introvert, or extrovert? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says his research shows that introverts and extroverts are equally effective as leaders, based on their companies' performance or teams. Whether introverts/extroverts were more or less effective depended on the kind of employees they had. Extroverts are better leaders with reactive followers, people who are looking for direction from above. If I am an extroverted leader, I will fire you up, get excited, and you will be ready to follow the direction I have created. Introverted leaders were more effective with proactive employees. If you have a whole team of people who bring their ideas and suggestions to the table, who are taking the initiative, extroverted leaders would feel threatened by that. They are like "don't steal my spotlight, I am in charge here". That has two negative effects: (i) they shut those people's ideas down, and (ii) they left their people demotivated. Introverts were much more likely to listen. And make people feel valued and get better ideas to the table. And we live in the world now where we need more proactivity from the employees. As the world is more dynamic and competitive, as a leader, you cannot see everything what is happening or going to happen. Given that proactive employees are more important than ever before, introvert leaders are going to be more effective in the future. Agree or disagree?

Atėnė Strazdas DrozdaitėInterior designer/Survivor/Thinker/Forever learning/ Enthusiast
I couldn't have said it better, Povilas ! There's so much more to our personalities than those two categories. Things are much easier when we classify, however this is exactly when we are missing the true splendor of our enormous diversity and contradictory behaviours. I could never admit myself neither to extroverts nor introverts, however I have the abilities of both, and so many more the scientists yet have to prove. Fascinating insight!
3 months ago
Lina LinkeviciuteTheatre Director [email protected] Paintings/Luxury Business Professional
Thanks Povilas for interesting point of view. Now they also made the third category: Ambivert !! Someone in the middle:))) https://introvertdear.com/ambivert-meaning-definition/
3 months ago
Povilas GodliauskasFounder & Coach @ coach.lt
Justas Janauskas, thanks for the inspiration, got me thinking. Atėnė Strazdas Drozdaitė, thanks for the input! I would say that behaviors are not contradictory as long as they are explainable. And I am sure that you, me, and everyone else have extroverted and introverted tendencies. Lina Linkeviciute, thanks! The term is a small update on the dichotomy, but is as descriptive as saying that we are human beings. :)
3 months ago
Mangirdas AdomaitisArtificial inteligence, Data science
Great insight Povilas Godliauskas! Oversimplified models are more likely to get wide adoption. Everyone understands black or white. Unfortunatelly, few invests enought effort to understand more complex models..
3 months ago
Atėnė Strazdas DrozdaitėInterior designer/Survivor/Thinker/Forever learning/ Enthusiast
Povilas, you're right. There's a reason behind everything.
3 months ago
Povilas GodliauskasFounder & Coach @ coach.lt
Mangirdas Adomaitis, well said. From an evolutionary point of view, adopting black and white thinking might have been crucial for survival and adaptation in the earlier times of history. However, I believe that in the current climate, it is not adaptive anymore, leading to tribalism and higher competition between groups.
3 months ago
Miglė AndrulionytėHead of Research @Tele2 // Consumers, Trends & Innovations
there’s actually a belief- scientific or not - that all these personality tests do more harm than good. when people believe in categories they’re assigned to, a whole lot of possibilities could be dismissed only because “I’m not the - necessary - type”. we start to believe that tests show us the real us. according to some I should be uncreative & unempathic, bad with people, and sometimes good with people... so I’m glad you shared this. thanks.
3 months ago
Povilas GodliauskasFounder & Coach @ coach.lt
Miglė Andrulionytė, thanks for sharing! What tests have you tried in the past? Just because a test asks personality related questions, does not mean that it is a valid and reliable one. I am also a bit skeptical of the conclusions you mentioned, as they seem like interpretations of the results and not the results themselves. A good test should be adapted to our population and talk about tendencies of feeling and thinking rather than behavioral outcomes. For example. my level of agreeableness is low (one of the big five qualities, indicating tendency to relate to others). But it does not tell anything about the quality of my relationships, which, by the way, are great, because I usually say what I think and feel, allowing me to attract more like-minded people.
3 months ago
Mangirdas AdomaitisArtificial inteligence, Data science
Povilas Godliauskas exactly my thoughts. We, as a society, fail to use more adaptive thinking. In my opinion adaptation itself somehow connote with weakness/failure, at least in our society. Does anyone agree? It could differ by country i suspect.
3 months ago
Mangirdas AdomaitisArtificial inteligence, Data science
Miglė Andrulionytė I am non-expert in human personalities. In general humans struggle to opperate well without structure. Oversimplified structure is better than no structure(if implemented sensibly). Like in a statistical saying: “all models are wrong, but some are usefull”? :)
3 months ago

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