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Why extroverts are more at advantage in team-based work

Extroverts are perceived as proactively contributing to teamwork as a result of their ability to propose new ideas or offer suggestions as well as develop energising relationships with other teammates, a study has found.

sex and relationships Updated: Oct 24, 2016 17:12 IST
Extroverts

The research shows that extroverts’ ability to energise their teammates has a lot to do with how much agreement there is within the team. (Shutterstock)

Are you an extrovert? If so, you may be at advantage with your boss. Extroverts are perceived as proactively contributing to teamwork as a result of their ability to propose new ideas or offer suggestions as well as develop energising relationships with other teammates, a study has found.

In the paper published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, it said that when a team agrees on the goals it needs to reach and the right approach to achieve them, extrovert people are more able to develop energising relationships with their teammates, and thus help drive the team to achieve success.

“With shifts in organisational structures leading to more collaborative, team-based work, it’s often assumed that extrovert have an advantage when it comes to achieving success in the workplace, especially in team-based work,” said Alexandra Gerbasi, Professor at University of Surrey in Britain.

On the other hand, the study showed that the perceived contributions of extroverts are strongly linked to the level of agreement within a team.

They are more likely to energise teammates when conflict levels are low but this advantage vanishes when there are disagreements within the team.

Extroverts then develop energising relationships with fewer of their teammates and are not viewed as proactively contributing to the team.

In these situations they may be perceived as advocating ideas in a dominating, assertive or even aggressive manner, potentially prolonging task conflict within teams, the researchers said.

“The research shows that extroverts’ ability to energise their teammates has a lot to do with how much agreement there is within the team. In situations where there is a high level of conflict, extroverts can be seen as ‘shouting the loudest’, showing a less desirable and productive side of being extraverted,” Gerbasi added.