Harnessing the quiet power of introverts

Introverts tend to get a bad rep. Many people mistakenly believe that they’re shy and that they don’t like being around others.

grok

October 21, 2021 · 3 min readQuiet Power

As a leader in your company, no doubt you’ve gotten to know a bit about your employees. You’ve learned about their likes, their working styles, and their personalities. In the process, you’ve probably noticed that you have a few introverts.

Introverts tend to get a bad rep. Many people mistakenly believe that they’re shy and that they don’t like being around others. They think introverts don’t like talking or enjoy working in group settings.

These misconceptions, amongst others, can lead to the belief that introverts are harder to manage. While introverts may be quieter than their extroverted counterparts, they have a lot to offer a company. If you have introverts on your team, here’s how you can make the most of their quiet power.

The strengths of introverts at work

Introverts have their own unique strengths that they bring to the table. Harnessing these traits can give a team an edge over the competition:

  • They’re great listeners. Introverts may be quiet, but that doesn’t mean they’re withdrawn or uninterested. While they’re silent, they’re taking everything in, including everything you have to say as a leader.

  • They’re more focused and calm. Many introverts tend towards deep concentration. When they’re completing a task, they’re able to focus, investigate, and get to the bottom of a problem. They’re also more likely to remain calm and collected during times of stress or conflict.

  • They’re natural problem solvers. Introverts are typically more resistant to distractions than extroverts. Along with being focused and calm, this trait makes them excellent problem solvers.

  • They’re more sensitive — but not in a bad way! Sensitivity doesn’t always have a negative connotation. The sensitive nature of introverts means that they’re more responsive to colleagues and clients. 

How to engage introverts in the workplace

Engaging an introvert is a bit different than engaging an extrovert. As a leader, it’s crucial to recognize and understand their behaviors. Doing this will help them thrive in the workplace. For instance, they might not be the first to speak up, or they might not speak at all. But that doesn’t mean they’re disconnected. Introverts are most likely absorbing what you have to say and are formulating a response before they contribute.‌

How to motivate introverted employees

There are a few things you can do to motivate your introverted employees, keeping them as engaged as your extroverted workers:

  • Make it known that you’re there for them — always ask everyone on your team what they need from you

  • Give them, and everyone else, time to prepare before meetings, and plan days without meetings

  • Avoid singling them out

  • Consider limiting team sizes

  • Offer resources that allow them to challenge themselves and advance in the workplace

  • Understand that not all introverts — or even extroverts, for that matter — are necessarily the same

Tips for managing introverts remotely

Many teams are working remotely these days. While introverts might do well in a remote setting, you don’t want them to disappear. Here are a few tips to continue getting the most out of your quietest employees:

  • Send a communication survey. That can help you understand how everyone prefers to communicate, and it allows you to figure out which methods are working and which ones aren’t.

  • Consider an asynchronous communication style. Avoid putting them on the spot and give them time to formulate their responses.

  • Introduce quiet hours. Providing everyone an hour or two of uninterrupted work can give introverts the time they need to focus and deliver results.‌

Discover the benefits of introverts in your workplace

Introverts in your workplace aren’t a burden. They’re an asset. Understanding what they have to offer and how to harness their strengths can help them — and your company — succeed.

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