You've got a choice: Would you hire an “extrovert,” that energetic, confident and outgoing individual who will likely motivate colleagues and push ahead on projects, or the “neurotic,” who seems withdrawn, anxious, is expected to contribute little and may adversely affect morale? The optimal choice may be surprising.
In a paper titled “The Downfall of Extraverts and Rise of Neurotics: The Dynamic Process of Status Allocation in Task Groups,” UCLA Anderson Associate Professor Corinne Bendersky and co-author Neha Parikh Shah, assistant professor at Rutgers Business School, shatter stereotypes about performance of extroverts and neurotics in teams. Their findings: extroverts contribute less than team members expect.
“The core of an extroverted personality is to be attention-seeking,” says Bendersky. “It turns out they just keep talking, don't listen very well and are not very receptive to other people's input. In reality, they don't contribute as much as people expect.” Neurotics, by contrast, tend to work hard on behalf of their teams. They are more motivated, viewed as more generous and generally exceed everyone's expectations. In the end, extroverts lose status, while neurotics rise in teammates' esteem.
The media showing great interest in Prof. Bendersky's research include Forbes and Fortune.com/CNNmoney.com. The paper is expected to be published in the April issue of the Academy of Management Journal.