Introverts and extroverts are two different (very different) personality traits that each and every one of has, kind of like being right or left handed, however just as we don’t necessarily do things with just our right or left hand, an extrovert can have a few introvert’s characteristics and the other way around. By identifying the traits of your team, you are able to ensure you get the best out of them on a daily basis (and make sure they get along with one another).
Introverts: This bunch is the quieter of the two by far. They prefer deep and critical thinking, preferably in solitude. They tend to think more before they speak (and react), are good listeners and enjoy long walks on the beach. Kidding of course about that last one. But they can come across as shy and unsociable if not careful.
Extroverts: Gain energy from being highly social butterflies. They love working around other people and thrive on constant interaction. They can however be quick to form a decision, giving them the potential to be a tad judgmental, and verging on being downright rude at times.
Believe it to not, introverts tend to make better the leaders and entrepreneurs as they can lead a company in a more focused manner than an extrovert, whilst having the company’s and not necessarily their own agenda in mind. A few famous introverts include Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Barack Obama (food for thought).
Working with an Introvert.
- Respect their need for privacy
- Never put them out of their comfort zone
- Give them time to think (don’t demand answers)
- Don’t interrupt them
- give them notice in advance of change
- Don’t push them to be highly sociable
- Don’t try to make them into an extrovert
Working with an Extrovert.
- Respect their independence
- Compliment their work
- Encourage their enthusiasm
- Give them frequent team meetings
- Allow them to brainstorm their ideas
- Listen to their opinion
- Give them a challenge
All in all, having a mix of the two types is essential in business, as power really does come from differences. Looking at the above bullet points makes it difficult to imagine both working in the same space, but balance is key. A little bit of this and a little bit of that will make them both happy, as an extrovert’s bubbly personality is sweetly balanced with the deep insight of an introvert – you really do need ‘em both.