The perils of too much extroversion

The perils of too much extroversion

Extroverts are often seen as natural leaders in organizations. But a new study suggests that some leaders may have too much of a good thing.

Researchers found that informal leaders were better liked and more sought after for advice when they hit a middle “sweet spot” on levels of assertiveness and warmth, two facets of extroversion.

Team members reacted less favorably to leaders who were high on assertiveness or warmth.

“Overly extroverted leaders can come across as too pushy or too annoying,” said Jia (Jasmine) Hu, lead author of the study and associate professor of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“A moderate amount of assertiveness and warmth may be optimal.”

The study did find one factor that helped highly extroverted leaders receive better marks from their peers: prosocial motivation, or the desire to look out for others’ welfare.

The study appears online in the Journal of Applied Psychology and will be published in a future print edition.

The researchers did two related studies. The first involved 260 business undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to 78 self-managed teams. The students worked in their teams on a variety of projects through a full semester.
Source: The perils of a leader who is too extroverted