Four Tips for Managing Introverts

The best managers are experts at interacting with all kinds of personalities. Your staff is likely divided into two types: introverts and extroverts. By understanding the unique needs of your introverts, you can help to maximize the productivity of these quiet, pensive employees. And this can be a win-win for your entire workforce, and your company! Here’s what you can do to better manage introverted employees.

Identifying your introverts

So, how can you tell which employees are introverted? It’s pretty easy, once you know what to look for! Introverts do their best brainstorming and creating on their own, rather than in a group. Following social interactions, they recharge their batteries by spending time alone. While extroverts are energized by lots of talking and socializing, this type of situation can be exhausting to the more reserved introvert. While they may come across as somewhat standoffish, an introvert is simply doing what they must to think and plan in the way that feels most natural to them. And you can help them give their very best on the job by understanding what they need for success.

The four best ways to manage introverted employees

You can help your introverts help you by:

  • Not putting them on the spot. An introvert needs time to reflect on an assignment and come up with solutions on their own. While extroverted employees prefer to “think on their feet” during a team brainstorm, introverts don’t do well when put on the spot. Introverts will often walk away from a meeting deep in thought, go somewhere quiet and think to themselves while reviewing meeting notes. To get the best, most inspired ideas from your introverts, give them time and space to think.
  • Harnessing the power of nonsocial communications. Because they find social interactions tiring, many introverts prefer email, or even telephone conference calls, which they can take in the privacy of their own cubicle. Rather than scheduling face-to-face meetings to discuss every upcoming project, consider alternate forms of communication. Your introverts will thank you when they can think and plan an email response. Or, in the case of a conference call, they can take a meeting in the comfort of their own space.
  • Holding meetings earlier in the day. Many introverts are drained by the end of a workday. When you hold meetings, your introverts will be able to deliver their best during peak energy times. These are usually earlier in the day.
  • Asking them what they think. Because they can be withdrawn, an introvert is not as likely as an extrovert to volunteer their thoughts. But by asking them what they think, you can give your introverts an opportunity to express themselves without needing to cut into a conversation. However, because introverts prefer to take time to plan an answer, you may need to be satisfied with, “I am not sure, but I will let you know.” This doesn’t mean they aren’t engaged or don’t care; it simply means they haven’t thought their answer through yet.

Learn to embrace your employees’ differences

Though introverts make up just one-third of the population, they still have just as much to contribute as your extroverted staff members. In a world where the “squeaky wheel gets the oil,” don’t allow your workforce to miss out on all the great ideas that aren’t currently being spoken. Just imagine how much stronger your company can become when you harness the power of your introverted employees!

Are you looking for new staff members?

Whether introverted or extroverted, Contemporary Staffing Solutions can work with you for the supplemental staff you need. To learn more about how we can help you find motivated, qualified new workers, contact Contemporary Staffing Solutions today!