Think tank finds "unfeeling" stereotype inaccurate as council managers are more extrovert than most

Local government managers are often unfairly stereotyped as faceless bureaucrats, but a new survey shows that the reality is very different.

The study, by local government think tank IDeA, found that 61% of middle managers in councils are extroverts, compared with just over half of the general population. They like having face to face conversations with large numbers of people and want to look at the bigger picture.

The study also hinted at some areas of potential conflict between council officers and other people. The local government managers base their decisions on facts rather than emotion, compared with the population at large who are more concerned with the effect of the decision on people, the report said.

It also found that 39% of the UK population are “relatively traditional and really need to know why any change is proposed” whereas only 22% of council middle managers and 18% of councillors fall into that category. Over one-third of councillors and middle managers “embrace change “and want it to happen quickly, compared with only 15% of the population.

The study also has an interesting take on the target-driven world of local government. It found that only one-quarter of council middle managers are results-orientated and like to take action, compared with 37% of the UK population and nearly one-third of councillors. In comparison, 30% of middle managers in general are driven by results.

The study also helps managers to work out their personality type and gives tips on how to adjust it to work with others.