IC Matters

Employee Comms

Introverts v. Extroverts: Who is best poised to win the employee engagement battle?


 — September 25th, 2019

Introverts v. Extroverts: Who is best poised to win the employee engagement battle?

I once worked at an office where we tossed around the idea of labeling each person’s office with their Meyers Briggs personality type.

Aside from the argument that the test itself is outdated and flawed, this idea was also met with debate. On one side, folks argued that it would be helpful to know who they were meeting with on a deeper level, presumably to cater their communication style. On the other, it was concerning to think our humanness would be reduced to four letters on a Post-it Note.

Both sides of the argument had valid points but the concept of labeling when it comes to employee engagement is problematic, at best.

I’m sure you’ve been part of a team-building exercise where you were labeled by demographic, personality type or educational background. Maybe you even got a flashy name tag to ensure you were greeted appropriately based on this one trait. (I am easily pegged as a millennial extrovert, for example.)

Here is the problem: you are not AN introvert or AN extrovert. You’re not even an introverted extrovert, whatever that means. Rather, you may be more introverted or more extroverted but your affinity to either lies somewhere along a continuum, not within a checkbox.

I’m sure most internal communication professionals can acknowledge our frustration with being labeled as a “type” and yet we operate under the same assumptions when strategizing about how to communicate with our peers. It breeds contempt and even, in some cases, competition.

I fear we’ve stereotyped the people we communicate with into categories only to justify our laziness in really getting to know employees as individuals.

Introverts don’t always fear lunchroom socialization. Extroverts don’t always obnoxiously commandeer meetings. It comes down to how you charge your batteries: Extroverts seek energy from others (the power of the group) while introverts seek it from within (the power of one).

So which one of these fine traits makes for a better IC pro? In my opinion, whoever is the most self-aware. If there is one thing I could instill in all communication professionals (heck, all professionals), it would be self-awareness. Know yourself and in turn you’ll know your audience. Explore the ways you are unique and the ways you are exactly like those you serve.

Acknowledge and be aware that the way you prefer to communicate may or may not be the same for others. Offering multiple channels to receive information and share feedback is a great way to capture your employees as a large audience. You can’t please everyone all the time but you can offer choices.

The battle for personality trait supremacy may rage on long after this post is published but we’ll accomplish more if we put down the boxing gloves and communicate from a place of self-awareness and respect.

The best on employee communications delivered weekly to your inbox.

By clicking “Accept all cookies” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your browsing experience, analyze site traffic, and serve tailored content and advertisements.

Cookies preferences

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Manage consent preferences

Strictly Necessary

Always Active

These cookies are necessary for our website to function. They do not store any personally identifiable information and are usually only set in response to actions made by you, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work.


Functionality cookies are used to remember your preferences. They make the site easier for you to navigate by remembering settings you have applied, detect if you’ve already seen a pop-up or auto-fill forms to make them easier for you to complete.


Targeting cookies are used to deliver ads more relevant to you and your interests. These cookies can also be used to measure ad performance and provide recommendations.