Leaders, let’s talk.
Being the first to speak or the person to speak the most does not make you an effective leader. It just makes you an extravert. In fact, there’s a name for this phenomenon, and it’s call the babble hypothesis. People who talk more–regardless of what they say or their intelligence–are more likely to be considered the leader of the group. That’s disheartening.
So the next time you’re looking to promote someone, consider some of the criteria below, think through the possible candidates, and then make your decision.
- What tools do you see them employ to sift through the noise to find the signal? How quickly are they able to do so?
- How many times have they asked a question that caused the group to truly pause and think
- How consistent are their behaviors and their interactions with others?
- How many times have you seen them change someone’s mind?
- Other than talking to persuade, how have you seen them navigate disagreement?
- What techniques do they employ the bring out the quieter people in a group?
- Can they tell the difference between the decisions they must make now from the decisions that can be made later?
- When a commitment will be missed, what do they do next? Do they communicate it quickly, clearly, and help to negotiate a way forward?
- What can you point to that tells you they’re self-aware and embrace continuous learning?
As an introvert myself, I’d love to see how we can change this extraverted world we live in now. Part of me though questions the severity with which extraverts are crowding our executive suite. It seems a bit more tragic than may be true.
What do you see?
- Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
- Are 96 Percent of Managers and Executives Extraverted? by Diana Senechal
- Babble hypothesis shows key factor to becoming a leader by Paul Ratner
- The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses by Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, and David A. Hofmann
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