Effective Product Management: Introvert or Extrovert?

There are a lot of opinions concerning who’s a better product manager: an introvert or an extrovert. Many men many

Vadym Muraviov, Digital marketer, Craft

5 mins read

There are a lot of opinions concerning who’s a better product manager: an introvert or an extrovert. Many men many minds. All people are different, and the agile product management is not an exceptional sphere. Both extroverts and introverts can work same successfully in agile product management with scrum. However, somebody has to be the best. We believe that the most outstanding features are to be brought into the light from both extroverted and introverted personalities in PMs. Let’s deal with what a reliable research says on this particular issue.

According to a study conducted at Harvard University, the product management agile style largely depends on subordinates. When employees are willing to share the new ideas, problems or suggest new solutions, introverts are more likely to promote innovative and creative culture of organization. At the same time, the leader of the introvert-active employees can be considered to be a completely unpopular person.

Extrovert energy can be directed to the benefits of employees and the company. Extrovert PMs can help to gain the maximum attention, earn more money and inspire for participation in the company’s affairs, etc. These are more public people with the bright agile product portfolio management. In situations, where employees are not involved fully in the process or do not feel comfortable, an extrovert-manager, being pro-active, can use his or her talents and revitalize the team. Also, the characteristics of extroverts often inspire employees and customers to achieve the maximum potential. In addition, they may attract more attention of the potential stakeholders.

This is as far as the benefits of each PM personality type is concerned. Thus, each personality type has its advantages. By the way, there is a good option for involving both types of managers, as well as the whole team. The modern solutions for business, agile project management tools offering high agile product quality management, convenient communication system and opportunities for operational collaboration, such as will perfectly suit both introvert and extrovert managers which will definitely increase their potential and the good from what they do together with their teams for achieving the product objective.

Agile Product Management Training is A Key To Success

Even if you are a humble introvert, that doesn’t mean that you cannot achieve success in managing either products or people. The secret power of each introvert is the fact that they can rule the extroverts, who in turn, rule the rest of the world. Got the idea? The most important in realizing that both managerial personality types are equally important and successful is appropriate training within each team. Teams that approach their work impartially, without much concern extrovert or introvert their managers are, are more likely to succeed simply because there is much to learn from each PM personality type.

Introverts are different in loyalty to their goals

Business history knows numerous cases of success in the realm of PM of people who were introvert.

Thomas G. Lynch from SAP America management was truly personable, knowledgeable and friendly in work with the clients. His work was very effective: since 2003 he was giving the company earnings more than $ 20 million. However, most colleagues described him as a “quiet guy,” and the authorities often  “pissed him off” as a man who lacked initiative. Indeed, introverts often lack either initiative or the desire to show it without any obvious reasons.

Like many introverts, he thought about the details of the meeting instead of “throwing in”  the case, missed enthusiastic discussions, and was not involved in the social activities of the company. He did his job well, however. He worked effectively with clients, though no one was impressed. The punch line of the story was that in 2012 a senior manager told him that he was well respected and smart, but needed to be more “extroverted” and Lynch had to ask a career coach for help. Has anyone seen that an extrovert was asked to be more ‘introvert,’ eh?

Nevertheless, inspired by the changes, he began to work more actively with the authorities, often speaking to the management team about the new ideas, made public speeches at the meetings and so on. He also became more active in asking about what tasks he could perform in a given period. Lynch also offered to help with the charitable action of the company, etc. In a nutshell, he showed the necessary initiative he was considered to lack.

Extroverts seem don’t to see any boundaries?

Devora Zack, the author of Managing for People Who Hate Managing, in her book points out one of the hugest problems extroverts, have: ignoring personal boundaries. They catch up with people in the corridors and torture them with long and loud conversations, repeat the information (sometimes persistently) attempting to immediately establish a friendship. As superiors, they often feel responsible for the progress of each employee, make attempts to cater their ideas, training and development into their lives outside of workspace, pass the agile product management certification, etc. Extroverts have to work hard on self-control and preservation of reasonable personal boundaries simply because people are different, not all like them, as they think. Being able to understand people is their weak point. So, is the development of each fair employee objectives. Extroverts should monitor how employees respond to it using their intuition and develop an individual management style.

Expert vision

According to numerous articles written by experts in PM, any product manager personality should include the following traits:

  1. Client-orientation.

every product manger should be able to have a deep insight into the customers needs, take a time to understand them, push the team to provide the appropriate product to meet the clients expectations.

  1. Authority.

PM shouldn’t rely on their titles to command respect. They should earn it by working back to back with the team members.

  1. Organization.

Product managers need much more than just a realistic vision to lead a project to success. They need to be able to create a roadmap for ultimate achieving of that vision.

  1. Strong communication skills.

Even the most humble managers know where a project needs to go, and the communication is the key in expressing the ideas clearly and receiving the feedback from customers or the team, which is extremely vital in product management.

  1. Intuition.

PMs must be able to anticipate changes, predict the problems and cover the risks ahead before they compromise roadmap, deadlines or budget.

  1. Simplicity.

Product managers shouldn’t develop a huge invasive ego.

  1. Pragmatism.

Set priorities and use resources that you can. Stick to your scope and budget.

  1. Empathy.

Product managers cannot exist without a team. So, they must take their employee’s concerns seriously and contribute to solving them.

  1. Extraversion!

Surprisingly, but this is a must for a successful product manger, which sounds rather irritating for the people from the opposite ‘introvert tribe’. No offences, this is the reality, since PMs often make presentations and public speeches establishing beneficial human relations.

Anyway, no matter introvert or extrovert, do not forget to use effective agile development software, polish your communication skills and do not be afraid to be yourself in your scrum.

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