Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have all admitted being a certain personality type. There are three major personality types: introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts.
While all three of the billionaires are introverts, ambiverts are a solid mix of both introverts and extroverts, according to several researchers and authors. Many scientists and researchers are looking at ambiverts; personality types who are not only the blend of each end of the spectrum, they are more able to easily adapt to specific situations when they are presented, unlike introverts and extroverts who seem to stay in their personality lane for life. Ambiverts are not too expressive, nor are they too reserved. They have a tendency to adapt to fit a particular circumstance.
Elizabeth Bernstein of The Wall Street Journal and Jessica Stillman of Inc Magazine have discovered some amazing traits of all three personality types.
Extroverts are people who love people. They want to be around people all the time and be the center of attention. Recognition and feedback is what motivates them. Extroverts thrive on group settings and being involved with groupthink activities, often “forming their thoughts as they speak”, according to Bernstein. “When by themselves, they easily become bored or restless” she says.
Introverts are polar opposites. They thrive when they are alone. They would prefer solitude to social interaction. They speak when they have something to say, no more and no less. Given the choice, they would much rather be with one other person or a very small group, as opposed to a larger crowd. Social activities drain them of their energy. When it comes to expressing their thoughts, they choose their words carefully before uttering a sound.
Ambiverts have the traits of introverts and extroverts, but are not predominantly either one. As Bernstein says “As a result, they have more balanced, or nuanced personalities. They aren’t the folks yammering your ear off. Nor are they the totally silent ones happily ensconced in the corner.”
Daniel Pink, a well known business author describes ambiverts in this way; “It’s like they’re bilingual, they have a wider range of skills and can connect with a wider range of people in the same way someone who speaks English and Spanish can.” Ambiverts can talk or listen with ease, transitioning from being alone to being in a group without any effort.
In a landmark study from seven years ago, the journal Psychological Science revealed ambiverts made excellent sales people. They compared how much revenue the study participants generated versus their results from a personality test. The results showed the highest revenue generators were people who scored between the introverts and extroverts on the personality test. The ambiverts, at the mid-point of each extreme, were the ones who generated the greatest amount of revenue.
Adam Grant, a psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania said “Ambiverts are like Goldilocks— they offer neither too much not too little. The drawback to being an ambivert, is that it can sometimes be difficult for them to know which side of their personality to lead with in a given situation.” In other words, ambiverts might not be completely comfortable in how to act, depending on the circumstances.” Dr. Grant goes on to point out that about two-thirds of the population are ambiverts, while the remaining one-third are split as either extroverts or introverts.
According to Amy Morin of Inc Magazine, most psychologists feel there are five factors that make up a personality, where everyone has varying amounts of each, which makes up their unique profile and fits into one of the three types of personality:
Conscientiousness- These people are “efficient, well-organized, dependable, and self-sufficient. They prefer to plan things in advance and aim for high achievement.”
Extroversion- As was alluded to earlier, these people get their energy from social situations. They are talkative and out-going. As a clarification, a high value would indicate an extrovert. A low value would be an introvert. A mid-range value implies an ambivert.
Agreeableness- These people are typified as being “trustworthy, kind, and affectionate toward others….. they’re often committed to volunteer work and altruistic activities.
Openness to Experience- They have very active imaginations and pride themselves for their wide range of interest. They are also curious. According to Morin, “they usually prefer variety over rigid routines.
Neuroticism- Everyone has a little of it. Those with high doses are emotionally unstable. They are prone to be anxious and irritable.
Regardless of how you score on the scale of these five factors, or how your makeup fits into a personality type, just remember, not everyone is who they want to be, but they can always strive to improve. Business growth can result as part of that improvement.