But there do remain some solid extroverts and I am a proud, card-carrying member. I score pretty high up there on the extroversion scale, and if you’ve ever met me, you know it! I can be an incredible employee and an even better entrepreneur but it took time to reign in my extroversion and learn how to manage it. Now, as the proud manager of several other extroverts, (at least 50% to 70% of the population claim to be extroverted) I understand where those myths comes from, some pretty ingrained stereotypes and how to manage the marvelous extrovert!

The Top 10 Extrovert Myths BUSTED!

Being introverted seems to be the “latest trend” but there is absolutely nothing wrong if you yourself are an extrovert. Here are some lies you may have heard about yourself.

1. Love to be the center of attention: While this is true in some cases, extroverts don’t always like to be the center of attention. In fact, extroverts get “charged up” by being the center of attention, but that doesn’t mean as a manager you need to put them on the spot 24/7.

2. Natural orator: Okay, I was voted speaker of my 8th grade class (not trying to brag) but natural oration doesn’t come easy to every extrovert. In fact, being up on a stage as a traditional type speaker can be more difficult for an extrovert than a conversation where they can interact with other participants.

3. You can’t shut them up. Okay, this could be true. But you’ll be happy knowing that many extroverts, at least the 30% of highly sensitive people who claim the title, are very focused on what people think of them and tend to curb their enthusiasm with time.

4. Bad listeners. Extroverts can make great listeners and often do even better when they have facetime with managers. For my extroverts, I write them and then speak to them face to face about anything I truly want them to remember.

5. Never need alone time or time to recharge. While it’s true that extroverts get charged up being around other people, it’s silly to think that they never need time alone. In fact, sometimes time alone can recharge someone high on the extroversion scale as well as someone who veers more toward introversion.

6. Self-absorbed. This one is pretty rude. Extroverts aren’t any more self-absorbed than introverts. In fact, extroverts are constantly trying to get to know people! Here’s where it gets tough to tell we’re not self-absorbed:

“Since extroverts feel sad when they don’t have enough interaction, according to Dembling, “[t]hey assume that when someone else is quiet, they’re sad.” This means while an introvert is looking for quiet time at their cubicle to recharge and think, an extroverted co-worker may try to tell a joke to get them to go to a happy hour. In this situation, introverts may mistakenly view extroverts as being annoying on purpose. In actuality, “this extrovert really has a genuine concern for you,” Dembling said.” 

7. Happier. Extroverts are found to report higher levels of job and life satisf... than introverts, so it’s easy to assume we’re happy all the time (and I am a pretty happy person) but not ALL the time. Like anyone, extroverts have moments of self-doubt, insecurity, frustration and sadness.

8. Don’t get nervous meeting new people. Of course we do. We have standards like anyone else and want to make a great impression, so meeting new people is just as scary (but also exciting!) for us as it is for you.

9. Insensitive.

“Extroverts LOVE to interact with you and can really tune-in to what you’re saying. Since we draw our energy from you, of course we’re into what you’re talking about and doing! By nature, we really really really want to get to know you. Expect lots of clarifying questions – sometimes extroverts can sound like therapists – “So what you’re saying is…” —Sanctuary Counseling

10. Don’t care what others think. Studies have shown 20% of people are highly sensitive, which is approximately 1.4 billion people. 30% of highly sensitive people are extroverts. While this only may be one example, it goes to show that not every extrovert fits into these stereotypes.

Extroverts are Great Employees

Extroverts are great employees because of the skills that may come naturally to them. Extroverts typically process new information easily, apply new knowledge quickly, talk more abstractly, and may take risks more easily.

Introverts make great leaders but according to research 96% of managers and executives display extroverted personalities. It is important that a leader can be able to communicate effectively, and not shy away from confrontation. Leaders by default, also have to collaborate with others. This may be hard for even some extroverts but it is important that the leader displays an extroverted personality and be available to communicate with colleagues, direct reports and employees.

How to Manage Extroverts

Managing extroverts means understanding a couple of things. First, that extroverts don’t fit into the recently unpopular stereotype that’s been pasted on our foreheads. Second, it means understanding that everyone falls onto a scale, but is Myer’s Briggs useful? Not entirely. 

In the meantime?

Give your extroverted employees face time.

“Plan to give the extroverts some face time, since they need to talk out their ideas and bounce things off [others]. Also, put extroverts in roles where they can connect with people.” said Jennifer Kahnweiler.

Even if you need to put them up on a skype call or call them into the office, it’s crucial that you communicate well with your extroverts.

Brag on them in public. Besides allowing them some face time and bouncing ideas off of others, extroverts like to be complimented publicly. Whether it’s an “atta boy” on the company intranet or a public praise moment at a meeting, make sure you let others know too.

Bag on them in private. Well, you know what I mean. Don’t assume that your extrovert has no feelings at all and take them to task in front of the entire team. This took some time for me (an extrovert!!) to learn. If you need to criticize an extrovert, do so in the privacy of your office, a private email or on a phone call.

No one puts baby in a corner. First of all don’t force them away from others or deflate their excitement. Doing so can cause the employee to not be satisfied which is 14% of how employees feel. Extroverts are prone to high levels of disengagement when forced into seclusion. Include walks, social time and a company intranet for the extroverts in your company so they can get their work done (without irritating all the introverts).

Put them in public facing roles if possible. While ambiverts perform higher than both true introverts AND true extroverts in sales and productivity tests, it’s still worth seeing if you extrovert wants to get into business development, speaking, training or sales.

Learn their work values. Personality is not the only thing we bring to work, whether we’re introverts or extroverts. Work values are also a huge part of our day. Learning the work values of your team helps you to respect their unique perspective and their independence.

Bio: Ryan Mead

Ryan Mead is the CEO and Founder of Vitru, an employee assessment tool that provides recruiters, hiring professionals, coaches and managers with the insights they need to manage their teams and make better hiring decisions. Powered by science, yet practical and easy to use for a variety of teams, Vitru work for organizations of all size. Want to learn more? Visit our blog or sign up for a free team building personality test account to assess your team today! Tweet me at@GoVitru.