If you’ve ever been a manager, there is no doubt that you have encountered a multitude of personality types—introverts, extroverts, and everything in between.
Managing introverted individuals is a unique challenge. These employees can be reserved yet have the same, if not more, talent and dedication than any other type of employee. While this is true, these introverted employees can find it difficult to reach out and get the guidance they need.
Without proper assistance, these employees may not progress as they should and may miss out on opportunities and professional growth throughout their careers. So, how can you, as a manager, help bring out the best in your invaluable introverted employees?
Who Is Considered To Be An Introvert?
It is hard to lump introverts into a single category, as there are so many subpersonalities that can make up an introvert. At their core, introverts are just not as adept at being the center of attention as extroverts.
They tend to be more analytical, reserved, cautious, and independent. Introverts are not always shy, and it is important to distinguish this type of personality from introverted employees who simply work better under certain conditions. While they may not be as flamboyant, their work ethic, creativity, and passion can still be very high.
How To Help Introverts Progress In Their Careers
The first step to helping introverts progress is to understand their unique strengths and weaknesses. This is not the same for every introvert, but understanding what makes them tick and what positive aspects of their work ethic can contribute to their business is the first step in helping guide them into a career.
Not every introvert needs to be an exuberant and outgoing leader in order to have a fruitful career. A 2005 study found that 96% of managers at U.S. companies identify as extroverts. While this is the case, there is a long list of successful CEOs—including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos—who value quiet reflection over social stimulation.
A small but growing body of research shows that introverts make better leaders largely because they actually listen to what other people say compared to their more outgoing counterparts. This is a character trait that should be appreciated and fostered within an organization.
Not every employee needs to be outgoing in order to be an important contributor.
Part of the problem is an assumption that we need to teach introverts to mimic crowd-pleasing behavior in order to be successful leaders. It’s also quite likely that the people who organize workshops and networking conferences are extroverts themselves, which is problematic.
In order to bring out the best in the introverted workforce, it is important to help them understand their strengths and to also be able to be aware of their weaknesses that can be improved upon.
Companies in the modern age need to be smart enough to not alienate introverted employees when it comes to professional development, as these employees often require more of a slow burn in order to become comfortable and engaged within a team. Be careful to nurture these individuals and allow them to exhibit their strengths without forcing them to be something they are not.
It’s critical to help people achieve their goals by understanding their perspectives and what they’re trying to accomplish. You want your employees to feel valued and supported for who they are and what they can offer your company.
Learn More About Managing Introverts
In order to help introverts thrive and achieve professional development, they need to be appreciated for what they are. The more comfortable and valued they feel within an organization, the easier it will be to get them to come out of their shell and grow with your company.
HR Search & Rescue is a full-service HR consulting company that specializes in helping businesses tackle difficult workplace issues. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping organizations create healthy workplace environments that value inclusion, equality, and efficiency. Schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with one of our HR consultants to get assistance with managing introverted employees today.