Stop Assuming Introverts Aren’t Passionate About Work

Stop Assuming Introverts Aren’t Passionate About Work

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  • Society often assumes that the only way to be passionate is to act extroverted, but that is simply not true. In their new research, the authors found that regardless of their actual level of passion, extroverted employees are perceived as more passionate than introverts. Moreover, this can drive substantial inequities in the workplace, as studies have shown that employees who are perceived as more passionate are rewarded by their managers, seen as higher-status and higher-potential, and are more likely to receive financial resources and other forms of support. The authors discuss what drives these (often flawed) perceptions of employee passion and present strategies for managers and employees to ensure that true passion — not just extroverted behaviors — are recognized and valued.

    Picture this: You ask two of your direct reports to take on important projects for your team, expecting both to be passionate about the opportunity. In response, one gets visibly excited, becoming animated as you discuss their ideas, and you notice them chatting with their coworkers about it over lunch. The other reacts with less enthusiasm, remains calmer, and seems to keep to themselves. Who would you conclude was more passionate about their assignment?

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