Excerpt from “Corporate Crap” – Chapter 15: Myers & Briggs

Published January 7, 2019

Introverts vs. Extroverts

Speaking of useless surveys, what is with all of this introvert/extrovert stuff? Suddenly it seems every company in America needs to know which employees are introverts and which are extroverts—as if you couldn’t already tell. But now companies feel compelled to do an official assessment of people’s behavioral characteristics, assign them to categories, and share the information with the rest of the organization—purportedly to improve performance.

The folks who push this shit on organizations claim that understanding the differences between introverts and extroverts can help everyone get along better and thus perform better. Managers can use the information to more effectively assemble and manage teams with different personality types. You can use it to configure office space, giving introverts more privacy, for example.

In the real world, most companies don’t change anything as a result of these tests. If you know that introverts prefer less interaction than extroverts, you might manage them differently. But good managers already do this without needing to know who has officially been labeled an introvert or extrovert. They recognize different tendencies in people and manage personality types differently.

I never would have guessed that out of all the topics for which I solicited input for this book, the Myers-Briggs survey, used by companies to assess levels of extroversion and introversion among employees, would elicit the most feedback. Everyone, it seems, has gone through this…