It is estimated that extroverts comprise 75 percent of the population, which means that most of your staff will likely have this socially driven temperament. While introverts appeal to employers because of their non-disruptive, quietly efficient ways, the average extrovert has a lot to offer an organization.
Extroverts become energized by social contact, unlike introverts who find socializing to be draining. The brain of an introvert is more engaged in thought and has more internal activity in progress and becomes overwhelmed by too much external input. Extroverts, on the other hand, seek out external input to fuel the dopamine pathways in their brains. They thrive in team settings and in roles where contact with other people is predominant.
The Extrovert Advantage
The advantages to having extroverted employees are many and varied. Because extroverts are social, they are comfortable with communication and relaying information. They are excellent motivators and work well in teams. The extroverts are the staff members you send to networking events such as seminars and trade shows. Chances are an extrovert will outsell an introvert and he'll be the one to talk a disgruntled customer out of wanting to go to a competitor. Because the extrovert has a wide social circle, your company likely has a lot of free advertising in the form of casual conversation.
The tendency for extroversion appears to have a genetic component. Results of a study by gene specialist Dean Hamer at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, revealed that the D4DR gene on Chromosome 11 affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter connected to excitement, motivation and physical activity. Extroverts have a long D4DR gene that is less sensitive to dopamine and as a result require more external input to maintain their level of drive. Introverts, on the other hand, have a shortened version of this gene and a heightened sensitivity to dopamine and become more overwhelmed with external activity. This genetic connection to temperament favors extroverts for your business environment if it is one with high energy and continuous activity.
Managing Extroverted Staff
Capitalize on your extroverted employee's strengths by considering her need for external input. Assign her group work, team lead and customer-facing positions. Capitalize on her motivational strengths by putting her in charge of committees. If you have information to relay to your staff and would like the message emphasized further than by notices and emails, put your extroverted staff member to work spreading the word. Pair the action-oriented extrovert with an introvert who is an adept planner but needs some support with project execution.