As a manager, you will be well aware that probably every single member of your team is different. Although having varying personality types within a company is often preferable, it does mean that different people have to be managed differently.
Almost every company has a member of staff who is more introverted than others and it’s important to know the best way to manage them in order to keep them happy and motivated.
Don’t put them on the spot
One of the most common traits amongst introverts is that they often need to sit with their own thoughts and process any information they have received before acting on it. Putting them on the spot, especially in front of other people is highly likely to make them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed and bad about themselves. Offer them a period of time to process the information however and you can guarantee that you will be able to take full advantage of their expertise.
Don’t publicly praise them
You may think that introverts are more likely to come out of themselves if they are publicly praised. Try to stop yourself from doing this however because in most cases, the complete opposite is true. If they are about to receive an award or recognition for a job well done and it’s going to be done publicly, try to let them know ahead of time. This will give them time to prepare themselves and get used to the idea that they are going to be publicly acknowledged.
Offer quiet spaces
Incorporating quiet spaces into your office plan will benefit the whole company not just the introverts. Everyone has off days or occasions where they are feeling overwhelmed and would therefore appreciate and benefit from areas where they can go and work in privacy. Having these areas available to everyone means that when those who are more introverted need a bit of quiet time, they won’t feel singled out by going to the quiet areas.
It is true that introverts are less likely to share their thoughts but this doesn’t mean that they have less to say. In fact, the opposite is usually the case so make sure that you are communicating with your introverted staff on a regular basis. Whether you send them an email or have weekly catch-up meetings, it’s important to know how they’re getting on because it’s these employees who are the most likely to keep quiet even when they’re very unhappy.
Introverts make great leaders
You wouldn’t be blamed for assuming that your most introverted member of staff wouldn’t make a good leader. Believe it or not though, these employees frequently make the best leaders. Research has shown that introverts are more open to differences in opinion than their more extroverted colleagues are and as a result, they’re more likely to make better informed decisions. Research also shows that their hesitancy to monopolise conversations makes them powerful and highly respected team members.
Have you ever managed an introverted member of staff? Which techniques did you find worked the best? Are you yourself introverted? If so, what kind of working environment do you prefer? Let us know your thoughts below.