Introvert-Extrovert Spectrum Doesn't Define Managerial Success. What Does Then?

Published 11. 4. 2024

Is it better to have an introverted or extroverted manager? Different people will give you different answers. Their view is influenced primarily by their personal experience and a general opinion. I think it doesn’t really matter if a leader is an introvert or an extrovert. Both have unique characteristics they can leverage in different spheres. Let’s dive deeper into this!


About author
Radim Pařík is the most famous professional global negotiator in the Czech Republic. He earned a PhD. at LIGS University. To improve his skills in the area, he participated in many different training courses after his studies. For example, he took training with former FBI agents. And training in negotiations with kidnappers and terrorists organized by The Trusted Agency. In Schwarz Group, one of the five largest retail groups in the world according to Forbes, he held several major leading roles. Radim is the only person in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who is in the mentorship programs of Chris Voss and Joe Navarro. In both countries, the TOP 100 companies cooperate with Radim. Plus, he accompanies politicians, too. He shares his skills and valuable knowledge in his Fascinating Academy, various negotiating programs, and books – many of which are bestsellers. Besides being a successful negotiator, he is also a multi-title Czech and European champion in karate.


First, let’s discuss what being an introvert or extrovert really means. Since these two are surrounded by so many stereotypes one can get lost easily.

Sometimes you meet a person who seems to be very quiet when you encounter them for the first time. Especially, if they are in a new environment. Therefore, you think they automatically fall into the box of introverts.

Then you see the same person at an afterparty, and they are the funniest and friendliest in the room. Immediately, you change the box and place them into the extrovert one. And this is the issue with the stereotypes.


EX or IN?

Extroverts don’t like conflicts. They would rather adapt to your point of view than start a fight. Often, these people choose to start an inner battle rather than a battle with other people.

Building relationships and connections is a priority for extroverts. They fear losing people and having broken relationships.

If they should pick an ideal workplace, it would be with a team.

Extroverts love talking and don’t feel comfortable in silence. Every time there is a space for opening a new topic in a conversation, they do it. The issue is that those who love talking too much are bad at listening.

Introverts think the opposite way.

They hate hopping on other people’s topics. They don’t understand why they should do it at all. Opposed to extroverts, introverts start fighting with you rather than with themselves. That means it is much more difficult for them to make new connections.

Plus, they don’t struggle with losing people as much as extroverts.

However, if an introvert finds you interesting, they will become a very good listener.

When it comes to their thinking, they tend to be overthinkers.

Before deciding, they must think it through properly.

Rather than in a team, they work by themselves. And discuss things one on one.


extrovert vs introvert abstract image


What Do We Expect from a Manager?

All of us expect a manager to be communicative. To be capable of making new connections and strengthening relationships both inside and outside of the company.

We need our managers to listen to the needs of workers. And understand their issues so they can create a safe space for new ideas and solutions.

A manager should make only those decisions they are sure of. Also, he or she should not say more than is necessary.

Plus, they should not be afraid of conflicts since it’s necessary to make personnel changes from time to time. Or to negotiate important deals with complex personalities.

To sum it up, we expect a manager to be a cooperative leader.

I have good news for both extroverts and introverts: You don’t have to have an innate manager in you. You can learn every useful skill yourself.

I have seen both men and women coming to the training of rhetoric with anxiety, and quite serious social phobia.

At the first meeting, they couldn’t imagine standing in front of a room full of people and catching their attention just with words.

But then this became reality. At the end of the training, these people were the biggest stars. Not only did they make huge progress, but they also outshined all the most confident participants.


Manažer prezentuje kolegům v práci


Empathetic Leadership

Tactical empathy is a very useful tool. And I highly recommend you acquire it. It is the basis for empathetic leadership which me and Chris Voss examine and discuss in our new book Empathetic Leadership.

We noticed that people mistake empathy for liking someone. Or even for sympathy. Many believe that to be empathetic means to agree with others and like them. But it doesn’t work that way.

Empathy is about showing understanding and validation of someone else’s emotions. Also, it's about letting them know we understand the impact of emotions on their behavior and decision-making.

Empathy is primarily about showing respect. Proving to the person I don’t look down my nose at them. I neither judge them as individuals nor their opinions. I don’t think they're dumb or worse than me.

With the empathy you express: I see you and I perceive us to be on the same level.

What is the most important here is to keep quiet and let the other person speak. How difficult is it? Incredibly.

But you can learn it. Here's my best tip: Let your tongue sit on the bumpy tissue of the hard palate. And keep it in this position for the whole time you feel the need to say something.

After mastering being quiet, you must put into practice an even more difficult skill - active listening.

Let’s pay attention to every word the other person says. And don't judge them for what they say.

Also, don’t advise them. And avoid any topic that might burst the conversation into flames. Such as who’s better, Biden or Trump (politics is always a thin ice to skate on).


řešení konfliktu


Fall in Love with Conflicts

A leader mustn’t be afraid of conflicts.

We humans have built a world on the pillars of conflicts. And I don’t necessarily mean wars or other diplomatic disputes. But rather the smaller conflicts.

Such as disagreements connected to how to achieve 350,000 USD in revenues.

When opening this topic in a meeting, each of our co-workers sees a different way to do it. One wants to invest in something, the other wants to be as economical as possible and the third one believes that increasing production will guarantee a higher profit.

It's important to see people around you (employees, suppliers, customers) as your teammates, not your enemies.

All of you should cooperate when searching for a functioning solution. We’re all just humans after all. Each of us has our personal fights. And each of us searches for ways to win against them.

To make living more bearable, evolution brought cooperation to us. The desire to lead is also a result of evolution. It is the effort to survive.


Words and Feelings

When in the middle of a conflict, we need to show our counterpart we can handle emotions well. Both others’ emotions as well as our own.

It’s vital to be able to label your emotions and articulate your requirements. This goes hand in hand with the skill of opening new topics the correct way.

Before saying something out loud, always say it to yourself first. And think of how it sounds.

Ask yourself “How would I react to it?” If the answer is “That would drive me mad!”, don’t go for it with others either.

Always think of the impact of the words you use.

For example, “for” evokes feelings of remorse. No personal profile restricts you from picking how you’ll start a rather unpleasant discussion. Besides “Why are we in the red?” rather ask your co-workers “Do we know how we got into the red?”.

The conjunction “but” has the power to perfectly deny everything that was said before it. You can go for “The presentation is great but it’s necessary to put there some more information in it.” but it’s better to express it this way “The presentation is great. Include just a few details there and it’ll be perfect.”

Sometimes we stand in front of people who lie right in our face.

An experienced leader knows that the most common emotion in people is fear. Fear of losing your community. Fear of losing autonomy. Or a fear of losing one’s face. That’s why it’s so important to never convict a liar. Why? Because it doesn’t lead anywhere. Convicting only makes them lose face.

Besides convicting, do the complete opposite. Create a safe space in which they can make improvements themselves. A space where they can tell you the truth. Besides saying “I know you’re lying.” rather say “I’m sorry, I might miss something. Could you please repeat that for me?”