The Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts

By Caroline Roberson on January 4, 2023

Introversion and extroversion are two personality traits that describe how a person engages with the world around them. 

People who are introverted tend to be more inwardly focused, while those who are extroverted tend to be more outgoing and energetic. These traits can have a significant impact on how a person interacts with their peers, so understanding and taking advantage of the differences between introverts and extroverts can be useful for organizations to maximize their employees’ potential.

One of the key differences between introverts and extroverts is how they gain energy. Introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone, while extroverts gain energy from being around other people. This can affect how they approach tasks and interact with colleagues. For example, an introverted employee might prefer to work independently on a project, while an extroverted employee might thrive in a more collaborative setting.

Introverts and extroverts can also differ in how they communicate and express themselves. Introverts tend to be more reserved and may need more time to process their thoughts before speaking up. They may also prefer written communication or one-on-one conversations to large group meetings. On the other hand, extroverts tend to be more outgoing and may be more comfortable speaking up in front of others or leading group discussions.

It’s important to note that these traits are not mutually exclusive and most people fall somewhere on a spectrum between introversion and extroversion. It’s also worth noting that introversion and extroversion are not the same as being shy or outgoing. A person can be introverted and still be confident and assertive, or extroverted and shy. Finding the right environment that plays to an employee’s strengths not only makes them feel more comfortable in the workplace, but also boosts their confidence and productivity.

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Somewhere between introverts and extroverts, there is also a third type of personality known as an ambivert. Ambiverts are individuals who fall somewhere in between introversion and extroversion, possessing qualities of both traits. Ambiverts can be difficult to identify as they tend to adapt their behavior and communication style to fit the situation, being more reserved in one situation and more outgoing in others. This ability to adapt can be a strength in the workplace, as ambiverts can easily shift between working independently and collaborating with others.

Given the broad spectrum of introversion and extroversion, how do you easily determine whether an employee or prospective candidate is more introverted or extroverted? HighMatch’s introvert/extrovert test is designed to shed insight on whether a candidate or employee will thrive in a certain environment. With our Assess solution, you can further expand this analysis to identify whether their other soft and hard skills will help them succeed in a role. 

In the workplace, it’s important to recognize and value the strengths of introverted, extroverted, and ambiverted employees. Introverts may excel at deep thinking and analysis, while extroverts may be skilled at networking and building relationships. Fostering and understanding the natural differences between introverts and extroverts is critical for a productive work environment. By creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, organizations can benefit from the unique perspectives and skills of all employees.

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