- Introverts are underrepresented in leadership roles, according to Myers-Briggs Company research released Jan. 2.
- While most people (57%) say they're introverts, only 39% of top executives and senior leaders in the U.S. identify as such. It's a myth that to be a good leader, an individual must be an extravert, Meyers-Briggs said; in fact, "[i]t's important that leaders be able to represent their followers."
- Regardless of a leader's characteristics, the company said, there are steps everyone can take to release introverts' potential: give employees sufficient time to prepare for meetings; listen patiently; communicate in variety of ways, including writing or in one-on-settings; and allow everyone to spend time alone.
Workplaces might favor extraverts but Meyers-Briggs continues to warn that employers that do so might be overlooking the contributions of introverted employees. Introverts may prefer to spend time on different tasks or approach their duties in a different way, but that doesn't mean those efforts don't have value at work.
And when it comes to the next generation of leaders, individuals of all kinds are likely to need training and support. "Leaders today ... are ill-equipped to take on their expanded roles," Sari Wilde, Gartner's managing VP in its HR practice, said in a statement announcing research earlier this year.
Gartner said that, based on that research, HR professionals should aid leaders in identifying their own skill gaps; teach them to apply what they learn to their leadership responsibilities directly; and create leader partnerships, not just better individual leaders.