Labor Events and Resources Blog

Friday, May 03, 2013

Extroverts Promise, But Deurotics Deliver


Your department is interviewing candidates for a team to launch an ambitious new project. Among them is Darren, an energetic, confident extrovert of a guy bursting with a "can-do" attitude. Then there’s Doug, who has the right experience but comes across as downright neurotic — anxious and obsessive — in an interview.


The choices seem obvious: Hire a team of go-getters like Darren, pass on Doug and others of his ilk, and the new project is a surefire success. Right?


Wrong. Because the bright, shiny bubble of extroversion can implode in a team effort, while the neurotic viewed as a loser may perform way beyond anyone’s expectations, according to new research by Corinne Bendersky. An associate professor in the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Bendersky studies status — the respect and esteem in which one is held by peers in teams and organizations...

What’s going on? For extroverts, some of the very qualities that make them shine can tarnish in the glaring light of teamwork. And for neurotics, traits that aren’t very exciting turn out to be quite effective on the job.


"The core of extroversion is wanting to be the center of attention," Bendersky said. "[Initially], there’s a very strong, intuitive assumption by others that the enthusiasm, outgoingness and assertiveness of extroverts is associated with being very strong, positive contributors to tasks at work. But extroverts like to talk more than to listen..."

Neurotics, on the other hand, possess qualities that help them rise to the occasion.  "The neurotic personality is really [plagued by] an anxiety of not wanting to disappoint peers and colleagues," said Bendersky. "Because of that, neurotics are motivated to work really hard, especially in group contexts.."

Full story at


ReBlog:  Daniel J.B. Mitchell


UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs


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