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Creating Successful Leaders

It is easy to pigeonhole people. It’s easy to say, “You’re like this,” “I’m like that,” “You behave like this…” But the effects this type of stereotyping can have on people can damage a person’s confidence or might inhibit their growth. One of the most common ways we think about others is labeling them as an introvert or an extrovert. We generally think of extraverts as boisterous, open, and social and think of introverts as quiet, secretive, and reclusive. But are people really either one thing or the other?

Definitely not. Even the acclaimed psychologist, Carl Jung, identified a third personality type: the ambivert. He said this group is “the most numerous and includes the less differentiated normal man.”

An ambivert is someone who is socially flexible and attempts to strike a balance between extraversion and introversion. Ambiverts adapt to different situations in the way they think is best—either with an introverted or extraverted tilt. Additionally, they often have a healthy emotional balance that extreme extroverts or introverts sometimes lack.

Ambiverts can also be more successful in sales. According to Adam M. Grant, author of the research paper Rethinking the Extraverted Sales Ideal: The Ambivert Advantage, “Ambiverts achieve greater sales productivity than extraverts or introverts do…Because they naturally engage in a flexible pattern of talking and listening, ambiverts are likely to express sufficient assertiveness and enthusiasm to persuade and close a sale but are more inclined to listen to customers’ interests and less vulnerable to appearing too excited or overconfident.”

As an Insights® Discovery practitioner, I appreciate the term ambivert. One of the great things about Insights®(a personality and behavioral assessment based on the studies of Carl Jung) is that it takes into account human adaptability and dynamism. We might have good days and bad days; we might react one way at a social gathering and another way in an office setting; we might feel extraverted in some situations and introverted in others. Although, according to Insights®, we may “lead” with a certain personality, we all have the capability to embody other personalities as well. (If you’re curious about how Insights® can lead to better inter-office relationships and improved communication, contact me anytime).

So, what do you think? Are you an ambivert?


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