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9 Reasons CEOs Should Hire Introverts Not Extraverts

Extraverts get most of the attention and credit, but it’s the introverts who actually get the job done.

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BY Geoffrey James - 12 Sep 2018

9 Reasons CEOs Should Hire Introverts Not Extraverts

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If I were to ask a hundred CEOs to define their ideal employee, I think I'd probably hear something like:

"somebody who's creative, reliable, takes feedback well, is easily motivated, handles deadlines well, works well with others (collaborates), is well spoken and ethical."

Well, it turns out that, according to decades of academic research, introverts are more likely than extraverts to have those characteristics:

1. Introverts are generally more creative.

Introverts are famously more creative than extraverts. According to the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, "creativity is a problem-solving response by intelligent, very active, highly emotional, and extremely introverted persons."

2. Introverts are more consistently creative.

Two studies of creativity among college undergraduates revealed that while extraverts are more creative when they're in a good mood, introverts remain creative even when they're in a bad mood.

3. Introverts take feedback better

A study of how introverts and extraverts react to positive, negative and neutral feedback revealed that, after the feedback was provided "introverts performed better than extraverts regardless of feedback condition."

4. Introverts are more easily motivated.

An article in the Journal of Educational Psychology explained that "repeated praise increased the work output of introverts significantly higher than that of introverts who were blamed or extroverts who were praised."

5. Introverts handle deadlines better.

According to research at the University of Maryland, when presented with a hard deadline, extraverts are more likely than introverts to "freeze up" while introverts are more likely than extraverts to plan ahead by using "early information in forming judgments."

6. Introverts are more collaborative

A study of group discussions among students showed that extraverts started more arguments than introverts while "the more introverted students worked with one another collaboratively to develop creative solutions."

7. Introverts tend to think before they speak.

Extraverts tend to speak very rapidly, hence the stereotype of the fast-talking (and therefore untrustworthy) salesperson. Introverts talk at a more normal pace, according to an article in The Journal of Personality.

8. Introverts use less biz-blab.

A study at the University of Amsterdam showed that extraverts tend to talk in vague abstractions (biz-blab being the worst example of same) while introverts tend to use concrete examples.

9. Introverts are much less likely to sabotage your firm.

Extraverts are more likely than introverts to indulge in "workplace deviance," the "intentional desire to cause harm to an organization," according to an article in Applied Psychology.

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