The extraversion personality guide for employers

The extraversion personality guide for employers

The extraversion personality guide for employers

First off, is it “extraversion” or “extroversion”?

You’ve probably seen it written both ways, but in reality it means the same thing.

Psychologists tend to use “extraversion”, especially when writing research papers, but no-one really knows where the “o” in extroversion came from, although some claim it is a simple typo made back in the 1920s.

Wherever it came from, “extrovert” became popular in general use over time, leaving “extravert” to psychologists and academics. Both words have the same meaning, but we’re going to stick with “extravert” in this article.

We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of the extraverted personality in the workplace, and how employers can help their extraverts to thrive without upsetting the introverts. Both personality types make great employees, but you have to know how to play to their strengths and how to minimize situations that they find difficult to deal with.

It can be useful to give candidates (or existing employees) a personality test to find out which side of the extraversion/introversion spectrum they fall on, but personality testing is also a great tool to gain deeper insight into broader personality traits, and a person’s general worldview. 

Let’s start with a quick look at what extraversion is, and how it differs from its flip side, introversion.

Table of contents

What is extraversion?

The extravert introvert scale TG STYLE

We all know at least one extravert from among our family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. They love meeting new people and making friends, and get a lot of energy from social activities. They always have something to say, and are not afraid to say it in front of a crowd.

Extraverts sit at the other end of the spectrum to introverts, who are their polar personality opposites. Introverts enjoy quiet time, like to be alone a lot, and often find social situations challenging and mentally exhausting. They often have plenty to say, but may not like expressing their thoughts out loud or in front of a group.

Many people have a mixture of extraverted and introverted personality traits, so they don’t sit at the extreme ends of the spectrum (these people are also known as ambiverts). 

There are extraverts who enjoy quiet time, just as there are introverts who enjoy social interaction. There are those who have more overall extravert or introvert tendencies than someone around the middle of the scale.

Not only that, but, according to the work of psychologist Carl Jung, there is a subset of different types of extraversion:

  • Sensing
  • Intuitive
  • Feeling
  • Thinking

Let’s take a deeper dive into the extraversion personality subsets:


Sensing extraverts need external stimulation for enjoyment and as an energy source. They use their senses to collect and interpret information from all around them, and they draw their conclusions this way. 

Because of this deep need for external stimulation, sensing extraverts often engage in new experiences or activities that immerse them in exciting environments. Sensors prefer bonding with others while doing fun activities, instead of having deep conversations.


Intuitive extraverts differ from sensing ones in that they don’t rely on external stimulation to give them their energy. Intuitive extraverts enjoy theorizing and sharing ideas with others. 

Intuitors love having deep, meaningful conversations that make them think critically or form connections about the world. These extraverts take what they’ve learned and use it to develop possibilities of what may happen in the future or how things are interconnected. 

They do sometimes struggle to remain present in the moment, but intuitors are generally open-minded and enjoy understanding different perspectives.


Feeling extraverts get their energy boost from connecting with others, and they need constant human interaction to stay happy. They love to form meaningful connections, share ideas, and interact with others

These extraverts tend to be natural peacekeepers and will often put the needs of others ahead of their own, and they are highly empathetic. This trait has a downside, though, as it means feeling extraverts sometimes neglect to take care of themselves. 


Thinking extraverts are confident, assertive, and often have natural leadership skills as they get their energy from accomplishing goals and leading others. 

They love plans and structure, so often prefer to have efficient, streamlined processes and systems for task completion (or even for going about their day-to-day business). 

When it comes to making decisions, thinking extraverts are logical and firm in their choices, and they like to take control to get things done. They love a challenge, and enjoy solving problems to create measurable results.

Extraversion in the workplace

Quote The extraversion personality guide for employer EXTRAVERTS

It’s estimated that extraverts make up between 50 and 75 percent of the population, and introverts often complain that the workplace is set up to cater mostly for extraverts. 

Although that may often be true, it doesn’t make managing a group of people with a mix of extravert and introvert personalities easy. to paraphrase poet John Lydgate and President Lincoln, you can’t please all of your staff all of the time. But you can make it easier for both personality types to cooperate and excel

Interestingly, not all cultures value extraverted employees. Extraversion seems to be viewed as a positive character trait in western cultures such as the US, but not in eastern cultures like Japan, where they can be seen as disrespectful and loud.

We’re going to look at how to make the highly extraverted employee feel happy and fulfilled at work, whilst also tempering some of their less attractive qualities to keep the less extraverted folk happy too.

Dealing effectively with extraverts at work

 It’s important to set firm boundaries when dealing with extraverts at work, but you must still give them space to share. You can adapt certain practices to suit their extraverted personality traits, while still keeping everyone collaborating and achieving together in harmony. Here are some ideas to get the best out of extraverts:

Let them share

Extraverts love to bounce their ideas and thoughts off others and they sometimes need validation amongst peers. This can lead to them hogging a lot of the airtime during a meeting, and perhaps not listening to ideas or thoughts from more introverted people. 

To preserve harmony and allow everyone to share, it helps to reserve time before, during, or after a meeting to enable the extraverts to put their ideas in front of everyone and discuss them. This helps extraverts by allowing them to process information verbally, and work with colleagues to find solutions. 

By having extraverts use their allotted meeting time to talk freely, it also helps the more introverted by leaving time for them to contribute without fear of being interrupted or having their ideas hijacked by extraverts.

Set clear boundaries

Extraverted personalities tend to be outspoken, spontaneous, confident, and chatty (which is a good thing in the right amount), but there are times when this can have a bad effect on teams.

Leaders need to set clear boundaries with their extraverted employees. This helps them to work with a team of different personalities.

For example, you may choose to ask them to take a step back at times to let others have a chance to lead. Or, you may decide not to let them dominate a team meeting with their big ideas and many opinions, and make more room for the less extraverted to contribute.

Another boundary to set for extraverts that may make your introverts happier is to have a designated quiet area of the office for those who crave a silent environment to work in where talking and noise is kept to a minimum. Your extraverts should be mindful of this space and respectful of the introverts’ need for calm and quiet there. 

Give them a lot of positive feedback

Most extraverts gain their energy from external sources, so frequent positive feedback can motivate and inspire them at work. They particularly enjoy verbal recognition, so make a point to praise them for any excellent work they have done. 

Those with extraverted personalities tend to respond to this feedback by working more productively. Try to keep negative feedback to a minimum, and instead find ways to positively discuss improvements that are needed and how you can work together to find solutions. 

Set goals and expectations

One of the drawbacks of high extraversion personality traits is that it’s too easy for them to get distracted and sidetracked with their enthusiasm for lots of ideas, and for talking too much and for too long with others about them.

This can mean that it’s hard for extraverts to meet goals and be introspective. You can help them to keep focused by setting clear expectations and goals for productivity. 

Make them aware of their communication style

The working and communication style of extraverts can have an impact on other employees. This is especially true of extravert-introvert communication, as their styles are so different.

Extraverts should be made aware of how they affect the more introverted team members, and learn when to tone things down or adapt the way they communicate. If you help extraverts to understand their working style and the impact it has on others, they can learn to collaborate and communicate better with their coworkers.

Making the work environment extravert-friendly

This is probably the point where the introverted employee complains that their work environment is already extravert-friendly because extraversion is idealized. You should, of course, also take steps to make your workplace introvert-friendly, but that topic is for a different article.

However, it’s interesting to note that a scientific study showed that introverts rated the performance of other introverts higher than the performance of extroverts – even when the extroverts clearly outperformed the introverts. So, yes, the common belief that introverts have a dislike for extraverts may hold some truth.

The extravert employee will likely feel most comfortable in an open office environment that encourages group interaction and teamwork. They don’t do so well in settings that require them to spend a lot of time working alone, and remote-working extraverts may need extra help from you.

Because extraverts are energized through interactions with their colleagues, promoting cooperation and allowing time for social activities is vital for extroverted employees to thrive. Here are some steps you can follow:

Create opportunities to collaborate

Because extraverts tend to be most productive when working with others, it’s important for them to have plenty of collaborative opportunities at work

Using online communication platforms like Slack can be useful for this, as they make it easy for team members to communicate and collaborate. Another way to help is to discover which projects will benefit from teamwork, and assign extraverts to them.  

Provide them with interesting tasks and projects

Extraverts suffer when they have to do mundane tasks and work alone every day. Let them have a chance to innovate and contribute ideas to keep them stimulated and productive.

That doesn’t mean to say that only extraverts should get to do the interesting things and not do the everyday stuff. You have to ensure that everyone gets a fair share of opportunities, or resentment will bubble.

Allow opportunities for socializing

Encouraging a work environment that welcomes social interactions is a solid way to ensure that the extraverted employees are fully energized and happy. Team-building activities, team lunches, fun competitions, etc., will go a long way to satisfy the extraverts on your team. 

By the same token, you also shouldn’t force introverts to take part in social activities if they don’t want to. Introverts find social interaction draining, not energizing, and if you insist that they join in all the time they will become stressed and unhappy. 

Personality testing is a valuable tool

Personality testing has come a long way since it was first invented, and there are a range of personality tests that are popular with employers. Our own range of personality tests include:

The Big 5 (OCEAN) test and the 16 Types test both include extraversion and introversion among the traits evaluated.  

Although personality tests should never be used to make hiring decisions, they do give you extra insight into a candidate’s or employee’s personality traits, and provide a lot of talking points for interviewers and managers. 

They will give you an indicator of how highly extraverted or introverted a candidate or employee is, and this opens the door for discussion with them about working styles.

The tests themselves are done online, and last for around ten minutes each. They are fun to take and most people enjoy doing them, so you might like to sign up for our free-forever plan and try them out for yourself.

We hope you enjoyed reading our extraversion personality guide for employers, and that we gave you plenty of food for thought when it comes to your extraverted employees. We have a huge range of tests in our test library (not just personality tests), so you may want to browse through the categories.

 If you would like to know more about how TestGorilla works, or have any questions, why not set up your free 30-minute live demo with our sales team?

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