There is a key question all managers must consider: ‘How do I get multiple personalities to work together?’
While it may seem as though the typical workforce is full of extroverted, outgoing and highly engaging individuals, this is a massive misconception. Introverts make up a vast portion of the workforce population, and they are a crucial part of each company. Gaining a true understanding of both extroverts and introverts is one of the most important aspects of managing a team. What is the best way to encourage introverts and extroverts to work together? In what way can you ensure that the quieter employees are reaching their max potential? Managers should take time to reflect on their specific management style in order to accommodate all personality types. Here are some thoughts to consider:
Motivation is key! Most managers strive to unify a team through group work, team building activities, and open working spaces. However, motivating an introvert to reach their best working potential can be different. Introverts succeed in structured environments. Try organizing regular agendas, give consistent feedback and send updates frequently.
Always remember personal space. Most of us can agree that some alone time every once in a while is a blessing. However, introverts typically favor more alone time than usual and respecting personal boundaries will go a long way. Try establishing “quiet zones” throughout the office or if the workspace is large enough, allow time to work in small rooms.
Never assume. It’s no secret that introverts are more on the quiet side, right? Just because an employee is reserved does not mean they are disengaged, uninterested or in a cruddy mood. Instead of jumping to conclusions, engage with the individual to get a grasp on what’s going on through their head. Remember not to press to hard, but try asking how they are doing or if they need any assistance.
Assign introverts with challenging projects. One hallmark of this personality type is the fact that they are reflective, careful thinkers. According to a study, introverts show more activity in their frontal lobes (AKA the part that loves to solve problems and remember things). Put those skills to work by giving them more difficult, critical thinking tasks!
Gauge work preferences best as possible. Make sure to hone in on any work habits that might be different than those of an extrovert. For instance, introverts thrive in quiet places, love virtual communication and tend to need alone space. Make accommodations where necessary, whether it’s chatting via email instead of face-to-face all the time, creating a daily agenda to know what is going on at all times of the day or being flexible with deadlines. The small details that allow introverts to be comfortable in their work setting will not go unnoticed!
Express interest in building close relationships with quiet individuals. Introverts tend to develop meaningful connections with those who take a stab at being a true friend or great colleague. Holding one-on-one meetings will encourage employees to share ideas while creating a comfortable work environment. More often than not, introverts will not be jumping to claim the success for their work in a large gathering.
Not every single employee will be enthralled with chatting up a storm in the lunch room, participating in group activities or contributing to brainstorm sessions. This is more than okay! A healthy balance between introverts and extroverts will make for a successful and unique office dynamic. Learning the ins and outs of an introverted personality is the key to working alongside the quieter bunch of employees. Adapting management skills to multiple personality types is a challenge but critical to the success of a company. Do you have any tips for managing introverts? Please share: