scorecardBosses with this personality type tend to manage the most people
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Bosses with this personality type tend to manage the most people

Bosses with this personality type tend to manage the most people
Careers2 min read

Science suggests there's one personality type that's more likely to manage larger teams.

A new report from Truity Psychometrics, a provider of online personality and career assessments, shows pronounced differences in managerial responsibility by personality type. Across all personality types, extroverts tended to manage larger teams.

Of all the survey respondents who answered the question, "How many people do you supervise or manage at work," ENTJs (people with a preference for extroversion, intuition, thinking, and judging) on average managed the largest number - about six - of employees, while ISFPs (people with a preference for introversion, sensing, feeling, and perceiving) tended to manage far smaller teams - with closer to two people on average.

Skye Gould/Business Insider

Molly Owens, CEO of Truity and developer of the TypeFinder personality-type assessment, says this isn't too surprising, since organizations traditionally look for extroverted leaders who are dynamic, outgoing, and able to rally the troops around a cause.

"These personality traits are often valued over introverted personality traits like introspection and being reserved," Owens explains. "In the workplace, that often - unfortunately - leads to more extroverts being placed in managerial positions."

Another reason she cites for why extroverts tend to manage more people than is that they're generally more likely to ask for management responsibilities.

"Many introverts shy away from being in managerial roles, despite being more than qualified. Extroverts, on the other hand, generally feel more comfortable in high-visibility roles and so may express their interest in these positions outright. Because of this, extroverts are often the first employees managers think of when looking for talent to promote," she says.

All this isn't to say, necessarily, that extroverts make the best leaders.

While research suggests extroversion is a common trait for the majority of successful leaders, these findings have more to do with predicting the likelihood of someone holding a leadership position than their leadership effectiveness.

In fact, a growing body of research suggests that extroverts and introverts can be equally successful in leadership roles overall, and that introverts, in certain situations, actually make better bosses because they tend to be better listeners, more thoughtful, considerate, and more thoroughly prepared.

"What will be especially interesting to see is how or if this trend changes due to the focus many people are putting on the advantages introverted leaders have in the workplace," Owens says. "In today's media, there is a big push to beat back traditional stereotypes about introverts and uncover the benefits that introverted traits offer employees in all levels of an organization."

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