Extroverts are much happier in a social environment which gives rewards and stimulus. Skilful extroverts who know their way through the career mazes are extremely effective workers and teachers.
In many ways the extrovert's stock in trade is their ability to mix, and they often have excellent communication skills. They don't react to an environment, they take control of it, and steer it. That can be a positive blessing for the workplace, and can also overcome social obstacles that the introverts, Introverted Extroverts and Extroverted Introverts don't want to deal with, or where they lack the skills.Extroverts thrive on the initiative. Doing anything productive, they're happy.
They're energetic, and have an all-terrain approach to social issues which makes them good sales people for ideas, and bringing those ideas to life in the business arena.
Despite their image, they're often very good at handling information, too. They may not have the sheer depth of knowledge and expertise common to introverts. But because they move through the environment and get exposure to a very wide array of sources, they learn a lot, and they can talk to experts intelligently and credibly most of the time.
As a matter of fact, part of their work is often gathering information. Someone has to go and get facts, and they're often the scouting party for businesses sounding out possibilities, where judgment is an important factor in checking out opportunities.
The idea of extroverts being superficial by definition is far too simple. They can't be good mixers and be ignoramuses as well. Any professional environment would tear them to pieces if they proved ignorance by trying to skip important points. The truly skilled extrovert usually does have a lot of depth where it matters, and frequently surprises introverts with it. In some cases a relationship between an introvert and an extrovert is built on the fact that the introvert has recognized that depth.
Extroverts can be professional relationship builders, doing massive amounts of networking. It would be unfair as well as wrong, however, to suggest that they're just being manipulative. Because of the amount of exposure they get to career environments, they soon learn that trust is an important part of any career, and they pick and choose their relationships much more efficiently than it might seem. They also learn that other people's input has value, and they go looking for higher value the minute they learn that.
This learning process is very important. Extroverts can go through more multiple personal and emotional incidents in an hour than some people have in years. Working in the high energy social environments can be nothing less than brutal, a learning curve of endless hard knocks from all directions.
Upon entering a career, an young extrovert can be swamped by countless different types of people with perspectives they haven't encountered before, which seem quite alien to them. They have to learn a lot, and learn it well, to operate effectively. Emotionally, they may not have started out as sensitive people, but almost without exception, they wind up having very finely tuned social senses.
As they mature, extroverts can get very picky about professional relationships, and a strange menagerie of other types are recruited specifically for their important inputs and good working relationships. One of the difficult parts of being an extrovert is that their social life and vast range of acquaintances also exposes them to a lot of risks. It can be a truly battering experience, as the extrovert navigates the minefield of business contacts and other hazards to health and wallet. The mature extrovert has learned how to edit out those risks, and gets choosy.
Extroverts are also good time managers. They don't waste time, and don't like having their time wasted. They know what they can do with 5 minutes. They will tolerate slowness on the part of others, but only so far. They consider anything slow inefficient, and from their perspective, it's an almost inevitable view. Hanging around waiting for things to happen isn't their style, and really does get on their nerves.
Extroverts, however, also have some serious potential weaknesses. They're the fast movers, and when they crash into anything, it will be at high speed. They can also overload themselves, raise their stress levels sky high, and burnout is actually more common with extroverts than anyone else. They sometimes literally don't know how to relax.
Because of their way of doing things, they can clash with each other, and the results can be spectacular. For extroverts, sometimes the only way to clash is head-on, and that can turn any career environment into a war zone in seconds. These clashes invariably affect other people, too, and in any office politics situation, the damage can be enormous.
The most thoroughly disliked extrovert is the aggressive type. This is the exception to the extrovert norm, and it's what's considered to be the typical extrovert by non-extroverts. They bulldoze their way through social environments, and generate a lot of real anger in the process. They can be bullies, and they can self-initiate a state of hostilities with anyone or anything. People rarely forget or forgive the aggressive extrovert's flat footed approach, and they can find themselves isolated and hated.
That's punishment enough for an extrovert, who needs to socialize, and if the lifeline is tied into a resentful series of knots, they suffocate. Sadly, that makes them worse in the short term, and they find among the ruins that they've done irreparable damage to relationships.
Other extroverts have a saving grace which is almost the exact opposite of the aggressive type. They're excellent facilitators, and can get things done well, even managing other people's time better for them as a sort of byproduct of the way they do things themselves. As organizers, they can give lessons, in their own fields. They know how to operate any social event, or any gathering, so it stays on the rails.
Their relationship with introverts is variable, but after seeing each other's merits, introverts, if they accept the extrovert's efficiencies in areas they wouldn't touch themselves, will form relationships.
They can also mix well with the difficult Extroverted Introverts on a business level, whose lifelong acting career usually needs a bit of support at various times. EIs aren't real extroverts, and the person most likely to recognize that will be the extrovert. Their styles are different. Even if the EI is trying to be seen as an extrovert, extroverts don't need a diagram drawn for them to see the differences.
More importantly, they also see the flaws and weak spots in the EI's carefully staged performances. With EIs, extroverts can be lifesavers, helping the EIs with weak points, encouraging them, and above all dealing with the stage fright EIs usually have at big moments. Being actors, the EI is far more scared of the audience than the extrovert, who can usually talk the EI down from a state of chronic paranoia. In many professional relationships, extroverts are extremely useful as mentors for the other types, because they have the natural social characteristics the others lack.
On the personal level, extroverts carry a cost nobody else does. They're the front people, the corporate image sent to conferences and seminars, the sales people, the tough guys in disputes. These can be thankless tasks if the extrovert doesn't personally agree with the approach. Their social skills may rebel at some ways of doing business. They may find themselves doing things they simply cannot consider to be the correct approaches to those situations.
That's a real battle for the extrovert, whose personal and professional expertise is very much in these fields. Extroverts are routinely accused of being superficial, but in their own areas, they're anything but superficial. They do know their stuff, and know it better than most. They learned it the hard way. Their instincts are good, in any social situation, and they can see themselves being set up for a fall if they're obliged to do something opposing their own better judgment.
Extroverts are far more complex than most people would think. This type of situation rebounds on their social environment. They begin to distrust the judgment of anyone who makes social mistakes professionally. That alone can destroy a relationship with an extrovert. Added twists and obscure logic will make it unforgivable.
Unlike the introvert, who is well protected by nature against peer groups, the extrovert takes all peer groups very seriously. Extroverts see errors in professional social environment management as a direct threat and unnecessary, unacceptable risk, not to be tolerated. They will consider any idea which they see as damaging to a business or professional relationship as sheer stupidity.
The quick way to provoke a clash with an extrovert is to create a situation like this. If they're not told the reasons for what they're doing, they won't trust the whole idea. They'll also think they're deliberately being left out in the cold, which is the beginning of the end of a relationship with any extrovert. The trust factor will vanish, and because extroverts have to know who to trust in business relationships, that's generally fatal.
At least some of the time, they're right, too. Extroverts are sometimes disregarded purely because they're extroverts, by other types. Introverted Extroverts are more understanding, but the other two types are too far removed for natural empathy.
Their ideas are discounted, often unfairly. In advertising and sales, an unholy combination of clashes with other extroverts and ignorance from other types can make life very tough for extroverts. If their thinking gets marked down as well, it's not much fun. It can in fact be humiliating, and some extroverts develop aggressive symptoms as a result.
Extroverts share one characteristic with introverts. Their talents need space. If their talents are confined, it's like trying to perform a gymnastics routine in a broom closet. Not much will get done, and it won't look too good.
Extremely important: Extroverts should never be marginalized. It's a waste of their abilities, and they can become actual misanthropes. They're running on rocket fuel, and all that energy can be diverted to extreme emotional states. They can be dangerous, if ill treated.
Their best relationships, and by far the most effective professional associates, are with Introverted Extroverts. IEs may have to act as interpreters for some extroverts, whose thinking is often vastly different from other types. It's often IEs who teach younger extroverts the languages of the introverts and Extroverted Introverts and how to interact with them.
Management can find itself confronted with a literal ball of fire in the extrovert, particularly the young ones. They want to change the world, invent whole new technologies, take over companies, colonize Alpha Centauri whether there's a planet there or not. Name any big idea, and you'll find an extrovert actively working on it.
Their energy levels are fantastically useful, if you know how to prevent explosions. They can be directed, and will be excellent team players, if guided. Not much actual guidance needs to be done, but they must have a clear idea of what's supposed to be being achieved. If they don't, they can quite innocently do things which aren't in the script. Given an unmistakable objective and the right success criteria, they'll be OK, do well, and work hard on it.
The guidance has to be consistent, and time management is always an issue with extroverts. If there's going to be a course change, they need notice well in advance. They move too fast to do sudden U turns, (they may in fact have already done something which is affected by short notice events) and they can organize things much better with advance warnings.
They like rewards and acknowledgement, and sometimes insist on them, but extroverts will continue to operate without them, because it's built into their nature. They love their work and their social environments. Their careers are built on personal achievements, much more so than other types.
Let them do what they're good at. Don't put them in situations where they're in any way restricted in using their skills.
They can be great trainers for others, and excellent professional mentors, because of their communications skills. If you employ an extrovert, make sure they're in touch with one of your Introverted Extroverts, and you'll find you have a true professional, in any career, with the extrovert's added skill sets.