3Are you an introvert?(Or, are you more like Pam or Kris?) For each statement, give yourself a P or a K – whichever sounds more like you.
4What Introversion is (and isn’t) It is a basic temperament trait. You don’t “get over it.” It is about how you respond to stimulation. Introverts are stimulation-sensitive – or “high reactive.” It isn’t the same as shyness. There are shy extroverts, and non-shy introverts. It isn’t rare. Approximately 1/3 to ½ of the population are introverts.
5Characteristics of Es and Is ExtrovertIntrovertoutgoingpeople personcomfortable in groupswide range of friends and acquaintancesjumps quickly into activitiesgets energized by being around othersthinks aloud“talker”reflectivereservedcomfortable alonesmall group of close friendsthinks before starting activitiesgets energy from time aloneprocesses thoughts internally“(over)thinker”
6Introverts… like working in quiet spaces enjoy working independently are reluctant to delegate, but when they do, they provide little informationwork well without supervisionthink and reflect before taking actionsometimes share ideas only when promptedlisten wellappear calm under pressurehave good depth of knowledge
7Introverts….Rarely speak unless they have something significant to say (which is not the same as being arrogant or having nothing to say).Would rather give a talk in front of 500 people than mingle with those people afterward.Enjoy reading, writing, strategy and research.
8What this looks like in the workplace: Introverts may appear to be wavering, indecisive or unsure – when really the person is just thinking deeply and evaluating alternatives. Introverts may appear to be aloof, disinterested in teamwork or unfriendly – when really the person is simply reserved by nature. Introverts, for these reasons, may not advance to their full potential in the workplace. So…what can we do about that?
9Supervisors of introverts: DOs Ask their opinion. If you don’t, you may be missing out on a whole slew of great ideas.Be prepared. Give them information (e.g., a meeting agenda) beforehand so they have time to process their thoughts internally before having to share.Use . If asking for important input, give your staff time to consider their thoughts rather than putting them uncomfortably on the spot.Delegate properly. Give them the authority to make decisions on their own without interrupting and micromanaging.Be flexible with recognition. Don’t assume that everyone’s idea of fun and reward is a big party.Find out where credit is due. Introverts don’t often sing their own praises, so be sure you are thanking the right people when things go well.Offer, if possible, flexibility with work hours. Allow them to come in early, or stay later, to achieve the “quiet time” they need to do their best work.Develop a non-monetary reward system. Introverts are often “relatively immune to wealth and fame.”Consider online brainstorming sessions, or “polling” employees to get feedback.
10Supervisors of introverts: DONTs Don’t ask them to “speak on the fly.” (Over arousal interferes with attention and short-term memory, setting an introvert up for failure when forcing them to respond without preparing.) Don’t let the Es on your staff talk over, interrupt, or otherwise stifle the times that I’s do choose to speak. Don’t buy into the “extrovert ideal.” Appreciate and take advantage of the unique characteristics of your Is. Don’t force constant group work. Don’t abandon them in times of conflict. Recognize their extreme discomfort, even if you don’t understand it. Intervene and mediate, if at all possible.
11Introverted staff:Step away from the Noise. Even if it’s just going to the bathroom, taking a short walk, or stepping outside, take breaks that allow you to re- charge.Share your route of thought. When explaining your opinion or providing instructions, don’t assume that everyone else has gone through the same thought process, as obvious as it may seem to you.Prepare. Request or research information before meetings so that you can prepare your thoughts ahead of time.Share your successes. Make small daily goals to share a project you are working on, a great meeting you had or a positive outcome that you have reached. It doesn’t have to be about bragging. Share your passion instead of your ego.Create space. Whether working on an important project or debriefing from an intense meeting, find a quiet place.Share your ideas. Again, make small daily goals to speak up once in a group setting. And don’t fret afterward about whether or not people thought your idea was silly. They’ve probably moved on.
12Introverted staff:Seek out other introverts. If you have an event or activity to go to, buddy up with an introvert. Use it as an opportunity to go out of your comfort zone and mingle, knowing you can rejoin your buddy if you need to. Get what you need to do your work. If you need a quieter place to work, see if you can use an empty conference room or borrow a vacant office. If you need more information before forming a response, say so and get it. If you need to be recognized without having to yell, establish new ways of making yourself known. Block out time on your calendar to think, plan and prepare. Don’t feel guilty about doing this. Find ways to express yourself, introvert style. Ask for one-on-one time to explain an idea, and make others aware that you give your best input when you don't have to interrupt or be interrupted. About half of the work force shares your wiring, so give other introverts the same consideration.
13Introverted staff:Make room for your thinking. If fast-paced meetings overwhelm your reflective style, get the agenda ahead of time or jot down your thoughts and pass them forward during the meeting to bypass the barrage of verbal popcorn. Don't apologize or criticize. If you don't want to join the after-work happy hour, just say that your version of happy hour is unwinding at home – and wish them a good time at the events they enjoy. Talk personality. Tell your boss and colleagues about your style and how you work best. This shows an investment in your work as well as respect for yourself and how you are wired. Your workplace may offer personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which provide a common language for discussing different styles (if not, suggest it). Use the opportunity to educate others and to understand those who work differently. (From the Brazen Careerist Social network)