Communication is so vital to very human relationship there is. And it’s definitely no different in the business world. Did you know that this is often impacted by one’s temperament? The best managers fully understand this and acknowledge the differences of temperament styles of their team. How do we even begin to know our own particular style or that of others?
In my Business Civility training courses, I use Susan Cain’s excellent questionnaire determining one’s main temperament type – Introvert or Extrovert. According to Ms. Cain, 50% of the general population identify as Introvert. They are often seen as shy, socially awkward. Nothing could be further from the truth. They bring great strength to a business or organization. The key is to understand their make-up and manage to their natural gifts.
Give them time
Don’t put them on the spot at the beginning of a meeting. They need to listen to the others and formulate the best response once they fully appreciate what the problem is.
Give them freedom
If you need research or any type of observation to be conducted, give these tasks to Introverts. They shine as they are often detail-oriented and very intuitive.
Give them space
After a stressful meeting, Introverts need time to debrief. Being around people often exhausts them. So to keep up business productivity, remember to give them space to recharge their batteries. If you make this single effort at respecting their needs, you will get the best from them in return.
Give them different roles
Letting them try different or unexpected roles that might suit an Extrovert better may surprise you. Introverts are usually wonderful listeners and might be very good at sales, for example.
Give them relationships
Introverts thrive on meaningful relationships. They aren’t into “small talk”. Consider this when deciding who should go to the next Networking event or work at the booth for the upcoming Trade show.
Give them tasks
Introverts like to know what they will need to prepare for the next meeting. Asking them to provide feedback on the spot when they haven’t been given the information ahead of time isn’t appreciated. Smaller sized meetings might be a better choice as Introverts are more comfortable with less people to interact with.
Give them paper
Often Introverts communicate their thoughts easier on paper than speaking off the cuff or in person. Let them use email or texting if that’s their preferred way to communicate with the team.
Give them a chance to finish
Introverts need to time to formulate their thoughts and don’t appreciate exuberant Extroverts finishing their sentences for them. Once again, they will shut down. The wise manager will be aware of this situation and remind everyone not to interrupt as it doesn’t show respect for fellow colleagues.
Give them the facts
Going off on tangents in conversations really annoy Introverts as they like to stay on topic especially if it’s work-related. They may feel that they don’t fully comprehend all of the parameters and can feel overwhelmed, as a result.
Give them a chance to adjust
Springing exciting opportunities on the team may get the Extroverts on board but the Introverts need some time to adjust. They often feel stressed and pressured about the unknown. Let them see how everything will unfold to get them on board, too.
Managers as good leaders will strive to bring out the best of each team member. Remember these tips when working with Introverts. Don’t underestimate their quiet way of behavior or interaction. They are a tremendous asset to the team. They just ask to be understood and respected for their uniqueness and creativity.
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