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5 Myths about Introverts and Extraverts at Work, by Adam Grant | LinkedIn

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Myth 5: Extraverts are better salespeople than introverts

After debunking the first four myths, I like to pose a challenge. If extraverts aren’t better at leading or networking, can you identify a domain where they do have a performance advantage? The most common answer was sales: salespeople need to be enthusiastic, gregarious, and assertive. Yet when I looked at the evidence, the average correlation between extraversion and sales performance was a whopping zero.

Why? Dan Pink gave me the answer: we forgot to consider the ambiverts in the middle of the spectrum. Most people are ambiverted rather than introverted or extraverted: they’re quiet in some situations and loud in others, and alternate between seeking the spotlight and staying backstage. Sure enough, when I studied sales revenue, ambiverts brought in more sales revenue than introverts or extraverts. Whereas extraverts are prone to dominating the conversation and coming on too strong, and introverts are sometimes too reserved and reluctant to pitch, ambiverts have the flexibility to adapt to the demands of the situation. So if you’re an introvert or an extravert, and you want to become better at persuading and influencing, follow the advice in Dan Pink’s fascinating book To Sell Is Human: “Get in touch with your inner ambivert.”

I'm beginning to wonder if we aren't all ambiverts, just pitching a little one way or the other toward intro/extro to differing degrees.

Actually, what do you mean by that last sentence?

I wonder if most if us are ambiverts and if pure introversion and extroversion are more rare than we perceive them to be.

What I meant to add is that there are other personality traits that might balance out/dilute/compensate/augment these two.  For instance, an introvert with a growth mindset and high variety seeking might get out there more than an extrovert with a fixed mindset and low variety seeking.  

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