Melissa has been working with a BPO company for two years. She's great at handling calls from irate customers and ready to go off-script when it's needed. But she's not as socially active as her co-workers. She can be calm when presenting a slide or speaking in front of an audience, but she's also quiet most of the time.
Based on the theory of personality of Carl Jung, Melissa is likely an ambivert - someone who has qualities of an introvert and an extrovert.
And, according to Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Management, ambiverts perform better than extroverts and introverts in sales and marketing.
"Extroverts made wonderful calls", says Grant, but they would soon get distracted and they would lose focus. The introverts however, "would talk very quietly, but boom, boom, boom, they were making calls. Introverts were more focused and disciplined."
The only extroverts who out performed introverts, were those who also scored very highly on the personality trait of Conscientiousness.
Extroverts likely made better calls, but generally were not persistent. Introverts, though their calls may have lacked the passion and flash of the extroverts, were more persistent. Like the proverbial tortoise and the hare, in telemarketing success, Slow and Steady wins the race.
Sometimes, ambiverts are the life of the party and other times they'd rather be alone than with their friends. This type of personality is much more common than you may think.
Personality psychologist Robert R. McCrae previously told The Huffington Post that as many as 38 percent of us are somewhere in between introvert and extrovert.
eSkill Blog compared these three types of personalities in the context of recruitment and assessment:
Introverts generally prefer analytical tasks and working alone or in small teams. An introvert tasked with work that requires lots of personal contact with strangers or public presenting will likely find this difficult.
These highly valuable workers do well in detail-oriented tasks, such as accounting or managing a shipping department.
Extroverts are typically some of the easiest to spot. Even before assessment, they may be chatting up the receptionist. You’re pretty sure they could do even your job from the confidence they typically exude. They shine in group settings and up-front tasks with lots of praise and attention, but they may wither if placed in solitary positions with little interaction.
Extroverts also tend to be more focused on the moment. While they can show extended success over time, it is the brief public presentations, sales meetings, and client interactions that they live for. Extroverts can be a distraction if improperly placed. Their nature demands an audience, and they will try to get it, sometimes at the cost of etiquette and procedure.
They have strong public-audience skills, but they can also be content during long periods of solitude. Ambiverts tend to thrive in positions where both types of work are required.
Psychologists compare ambiverts to bilinguals. They have a wider range of emotional comprehension and are often comfortable with groups at either end of the spectrum. Because of this, they make excellent managers. When tested, a high percentage of successful sales people fall into this category because they can appeal to a wider audience.
If you want to know which type of personality you fall into, take any of these tests:
- NERIS Type Explorer Test at 16Personalities.com
- Jung Typology Test
- Enneagram Personality Test
- Big 5 Personality Test
We'd like to know what your personality type is. Share with us the result of your test and what you think of it in the comments below!