In the wake of Susan Cain’s influential TED Talk, many companies are starting to see the influence and power of introverts in the workplace, despite a “world that can’t stop talking.”
Typically, extroverted personalities are praised and regarded as critical to the current workplace culture, where work spaces are open and meetings take up half of one’s workday. Managers and leaders tend to notice and reward those who are the loudest, are the most social, and talk the most, and those employees also tend to get better opportunities and promotions.
However, if you want to inspire a more dynamic and successful workplace culture, you need to unlock the benefits of introverted personalities and create environments that allow them to excel; your organization can then benefit as a result.
While introverts are typically classified as shy, unfriendly, antisocial, passive aggressive, and lonely, experts claim that introverts are anything but. They just process things differently than extroverts do and require more time alone.
According to information from experts highlighted in a Time article, introverts:
- Are great listeners and are highly observant
- Think before they speak
- Network strategically and effectively
- Form quality partnerships
- Make compassionate leaders
Overall, introverts become drained of energy when they are around others because they’re highly focused on what those around them are saying and doing. So, they require more time away from others to recharge. It’s typically best to provide them with private work spaces so they can come to meetings prepared to listen and interact.
Introverts also closely consider what they’re going to say before they speak, so, they often need time outside of meetings and noisy cubicles to think about what was covered or what they need to do before they can contribute to the team. They often don’t excel in live brainstorming sessions but will send follow-up e-mails after a meeting with a lot of great ideas.
Above all else, introverts make excellent leaders because they take the time to listen to their employees and respond to what matters to those employees. They also aren’t always the center of attention during meetings, allowing their employees to contribute more and get the recognition they deserve. So, employees who work for introverts are often highly engaged and stay motivated.
In addition, introverts have a knack for building quality relationships and partnerships for their organizations, which can propel an organization forward and make it more competitive.