The introvert label is highly misunderstood. In an article published by Forbes, Author Susan Cain sums up the word perfectly by describing introverts as “men of contemplation” – a distinct difference from the usual assumption that they’re shy, unconfident and quiet. Fundamentally, while the introvert enjoys the company of others, they are equally comfortable alone. By trying to understand the needs of your introvert workforce, you’ll not only feel more comfortable in their presence, but will really help their creativity flourish.
Here are a few tips and facts about introverts to help you understand them better.
1. They think before they talk
Introverts thoroughly process information before they speak their mind. If you’re running a business meeting, it’s always worth circling back after you’ve given them a little time to mull things over.
2. They are good listeners
Introverts are often perceived as ignorant in the workplace as they’re rarely forerunners in the conversation. But, you can be damn sure that they’ll be listening in the background and waiting for the opportune moment to express their thoughts.
3. They enjoy their own company
Of course, as a boss you’ll no doubt favor employees who work well in a team. According to Peter Vogt of Career Advice Monster – a self-confessed introvert – isolation is when an introvert thrives, so consider taking a step back and leaving them to their own devices when possible.
4. They are often methodological
Most introverts are highly methodological people who have excellent analytical skills. When you need someone patient and focused to undertake mundane tasks that extroverts despise, they’ll not only enjoy the process more, but will do a better job.
5. They work better when it’s quiet
Introverts perform better in quiet spaces, which is one of the reasons why they often choose solitary professions such as writing, accounting and programming. If you have a predominantly introvert workforce, try making your office a calmer environment.
6. They usually make better salespeople
While extroverts often lead a business due to their dominant demeanor, introverts make better salespeople as they’re more inclined to listen to a client or a lead’s expectations and opinions.
7. They work well with extroverts
Researcher Brian Little states that “when an introvert and extrovert engage in conversation, the introvert will take on the role of the interviewer.” This can actually be a more effective way of communication among employees with regards to team-related activities.
8. They are better at job interviews
Extroverts often go into interviews and meetings full of adrenaline and pumped to make a good impression; however, this often causes them to lose focus. Introverts on the other hand will listen, absorb, and then speak, giving them more time to consider their answers.
9. They are more engaged with their work
Trying to get employees motivated about working is not an easy task. Employee engagement agency Berghind Joseph states that commitment will only come when an employee feels respected and that their work has purpose. Introverts are already naturally more engaged with their work. So take some time each day to say some good things to your introvert workers and they’ll no doubt feel an even deeper sense of pride.
10. They can become an extrovert
Contrary to popular belief, introverts can actually be very engaging in a public speaking situation. Although it won’t come as naturally to them and they will often “burn out” quicker, using an introvert to deliver a short keynote speech can be highly effective. Just remember to cut them some slack afterwards, as they’ll almost certainly need a little time to regenerate.
As the old saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.” An introvert workforce can be a blessing in disguise; you just need to learn how to engage with them.
Image source: Dollar photo Club
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