By Sidney Reilly
Quiet and shy workers are prone to giving bad reviews and evaluations of their coworkers, and can thus control their ascent with companies. This is the bold assertion made by two new studies from researchers at OSU, University of Florida and Notre Dame.
The prevailing wisdom in office scenarios has always been that you need to be an extrovert, or at least try your best to impersonate one, to make friends around the workplace, get work done in the most efficient way possible, and get promoted. This new information would go against the traditional advice given to graduating seniors heading into the job market for decades.
“That gives employees a tremendous amount of power to influence their peers’ career opportunities,” said Keith Leavitt via press release. Leavitt is an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business, and a co-author on both studies. He even noted the level of control the introverts were able to exert was surprising. Which may mean that the lady at the end of the cubicle row who you think has been quietly plotting to bring you down, may in fact be quietly plotting to bring you down.
The two studies used graduate students in MBA programs and put them to work on group projects, and then had them evaluate each other.
“We found that introverted employees are especially sensitive to their co-workers’ interpersonal traits, in particular extraversion and disagreeableness,” said Leavitt in the press release, continuing, “they make judgments and evaluate performance of others with those traits in mind.”
So maybe get that quiet lady a nice holiday gift, but don’t linger too long to talk about it; she might be the reason you still work in the mailroom after all these years.