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The Advantages of Being an Extravert

When we think of an extravert, we may think of an outgoing person who can be somewhat attention-seeking or easily distracted. But can this personality type impact work outcomes? To answer this question, researchers reviewed 97 meta-analyses on the role of extraversion in the workplace and published their findings in the Journal of Applied Psychology. After analyzing and synthesizing, the researchers found four extraversion “advantages”.

The first advantage was motivational advantage. Motivation requires energy and engagement. Extraversion is strongly associated with these behaviors as well as influencing others, seeing rewards, and achieving success, status, and recognition. These characteristics of extraversion make it easier to accomplish goals.

The second advantage was emotional advantage. Extraversion is associated positivity. Positivity can serve as a “buffer” to work-life challenges and burnout. Positivity can also help employees adapt to stressful situations. 

The third advantage was interpersonal advantage. Extraversion is related to verbal and nonverbal communication styles. Extraverts also tend to pay careful attention to others and be sensitive to the needs of others. This can be beneficial in the workplace. 

Finally, the fourth advantage is performance advantage. Extraversion is associated with innovation, adaptation to different job functions, advocating for change, and taking career opportunities. Extraverted people tend to have great work performance. They often receive promotions and higher pay.

Wilmot, M. P., Wanberg, C. R., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., & Ones, D.S.(2019). Extraversion Advantages at Work: A Quantitative Review and Synthesis of the Meta-Analytic Evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology104(12), 1-25.

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