Survey: Workplace Jay Lenos More Likely to Advance

August 19, 2003 ( - A co-worker as extroverted as Jay Leno is more likely to become a corporate leader than the office wallflower.

An online survey by Sims Wyeth & Company, an international training and consulting firm, found that workplace overachievers are more likely to be outgoing. Across all ages and genders, those polled rated interpersonal skills as the most important attribute for business success, followed by creative problem solving and public speaking ability.

The survey found about three quarters of respondents considered themselves the life of the party at work while 36% said they become “more extroverted” in the workplace. Some 43% said they would rather work with extroverts, compared to 2% who prefer working with introverts.

In fact, being an extrovert not only affects office dynamics but also individual employee development, group dynamics, employee and gender relations, productivity issues, and employee performance, according to the company.

Sims Wyeth found that extroverts are almost twice as likely to be more uncomfortable saying “no” to colleagues than introverts. It ranks as the second “most uncomfortable business activity” for men, but slides down to fifth for women, according to the poll results.

When it comes to gender differences, it appears women are more likely to be super social beings at work than their male counterparts. Female respondents were more likely to call themselves extroverts (78%) than men (73%). The difference is even greater in the category of “strongly extroverted,” with four out of 10 of the women identifying themselves as such, compared with only 27% of the men.

The online survey drew 173 responses in March 2003.