Jung claims that there are two attitudes towards life.
Carl Jung was born July 26, 1875. He had played a significant role in the development of psychology until his death on June 6, 1961. According to him there are two different ways of reacting to situations depending on the type of our personality. But, no one lives entirely as one type or the other. What is more, our personality type could be innate, and it begins developing at a very early stage in life.
Jung’s theory of introversion and extroversion.
One of his notable contributions to psychology involves his personality theory, which is so important because it defines what introverts and extroverts are. Extroverted and Introverted personality types are in fact the oldest definitions in the history of personality theories.
The two personality types are absolute opposites of one another.
It has long been determined that some people are expressive, outgoing and calm while interacting with the world around them. While others are shy, quiet and feel happier when they are alone. The people who fall in the first category enjoy communicating with the external world and feel at ease talking with other people. And the latter prefer their own company and feel comfortable spending time in their inner world instead of getting to know the world outside.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Most probably you already know what your type of personality is. And if you don’t, you should find out. It’s common knowledge that understanding our personality type could be very beneficial to our progress. It could help us identify our strengths and pinpoint our weaknesses.
As previously mentioned at first individuals fell into only two groups, depending on one’s personality traits.
But while these two categories seem to be on the opposite sides of the personality spectrum, Carl Jung found out a third personality kind on the introverted-extroverted spectrum.
Here is what Jung wrote in the classic Psychological Types:
“There is, finally, the third group … the most numerous and includes the less differentiated normal man … He constitutes the extensive middle group.”
This middle type of personality consists of the ambiverts. However, psychologists didn’t use the term “ambivert” until the 1940s.
Ambiversion falls more or less in the middle of the extrovert and the introvert.
An ambivert is usually OK with groups and socializing, but also needs some time alone, away from everybody and everything. In simpler words, an ambivert is a person whose mood changes according to the situation he/she falls into. For example, when among smiley or close friends, the ambivert may display strong extroverted behavior.
So what makes the ambiverts that unique?
In his research called Rethinking the Extraverted Sales Ideal: The Ambivert Advantage, Adam M. Grant of the Wharton School examined the connection between extroversion and the ability of selling.
“Ambiverts achieve greater sales productivity than extroverts or introverts do,” Grant wrote.
“Because they naturally engage in a flexible pattern of talking and listening, ambiverts are likely to express sufficient assertiveness and enthusiasm to persuade and close a sale but are more inclined to listen to customers’ interests and less vulnerable to appearing too excited or overconfident.” stated Grant.
Until 2013 when the research was conducted, people would consider extroverts better than the others, especially when it came to being influential on the market.
However, the study explicitly stated that ambiverts have a huge advantage in this regard. It proved that ambiverts over-topped extroverts in the field of selling. And, this is not the only area at which ambiverts prove to excel.
Here are seven competitive advantages of an ambivert that really make them more successful and influential.
1. Ambiverts are more productive.
The explanation mentioned above is that they are great orators and listeners at the same time. They can talk persuasively and confidently, while they allow the others to express themselves. They know when to listen to their customers so they can better understand what the person wants and needs.
2. They could behave both like an introvert or an extrovert. This makes them flexible.
For example, during a business cocktail or a party, ambiverts would be happy to talk with many different people and make many new contacts, very much what an extrovert would do at a similar gathering. But that same ambivert also likes spending a quiet evening at home, reading a book, eating dinner or watching a movie alone. Ambiverts could be just like extroverts in social situations and very much like introverts when on their own.This is very useful when it comes to important business situations.
3. They don’t feel exhausted by tense situations.
This is valid when talking about emotions too. On the one hand, the introverts are extremely sensitive people. On the other hand, the extroverts are more or less indifferent to external factors. While ambiverts prove to be very stable regarding their emotions. Ambiverts know when to be outgoing, such as at work happy hour; and when to be quieter, such as during an important business event or a meeting.
“Situational factors more strongly influence ambiverts,” Smith said. “I think a big advantage here is that this person is comfortable in a much wider range of situations.”
4. They’re more influential.
In Grant’s sales research, ambiverts’ hourly earnings was around $155—24% more than the extroverts’ earnings. Participants at either extreme side of the introvert-extrovert scale had the lowest percentage of sales, while the people who were in the middle had the highest one, calculated at $208 for an hour.
5. Ambiverts are very intuitive.
This is a quality that helps them in both their personal lives and their business. The journalist Daniel K. Pink explained that ambiverts are aware when to talk and when to shut up, when to observe and when to reply, when to push and when to hold back.
6. They are wise when taking risks.
Extroverts like taking risks. They might be the first to jump with a parachute from a plane or to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend just because they think they could hit the jackpot in Belaggio. Conversely, introverts would avoid risky situations as well as impulsive decisions. And finally, the ambiverts would decide whether to act or not after thinking about the good and the bad sides of each case. And see if the risk is worth taking.
“Extroverts tend to be much more impulsive than introverts. The ambivert is in the middle,” said Barry Smith, professor emeritus and director of the Laboratories of Human Psychophysiology at the University of Maryland.
This is very important in the world of business, since risk taking is crucial and needs careful assessment.
7. Ambiverts could become successful entrepreneurs on their own.
“If you’re an extreme introvert or an extreme extrovert, you’re more likely going to need someone who would bring the strengths that you lack and complement the things that you are less likely to be good at,” Grant says. “I always give an example with Google company: Larry Page specifically is on the introverted end of the spectrum, while Eric Schmidt coming in as CEO when the company was growing was a perfect complement. Or look at Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg is much more introverted than Sheryl Sandberg.” stated Grant.
So, it might actually turn out that ambiverts have significant advantages to the other personality types. And this makes them more influential and successful than many other individuals.