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How to Manage Introverts and Extroverts

male employee having meeting with female manager in office

According to the Harvard Business Review, the majority of managers showcase extroverted personalities – 96%. Extroversion, when you’re in a managerial position, is an advantage. Extroverted people appear confident and aren’t afraid to express what they want. They can be born leaders, and there have been studies that indicate that teams of extroverted employees accumulated 16% higher profit margins. With these statistics, it might seem that extroverts shine more than introverts at work. However, that isn’t necessarily true. Everyone is different, and we all have a unique set of skills to bring to the workplace. Sometimes, it’s a matter of learning how to amplify the strengths that your employees have. If you’re an introvert, but your employee is an extrovert, you may experience a disconnect at times, and the same is true if it’s vice versa, so how can you bridge that gap?

Ways to help extroverted employees perform

  • Compliment them on their performance and exuberance
  • Keep them occupied with new tasks and exciting tasks that involve communicating with others
  • Give them chances to express their ideas in company meetings
  • Make sure that they are engaged in stimulating activities

Introverts can perform well too

Introverts like to work alone most of the time, whereas extroverts usually prefer to work on a team. If you’re managing an introvert, make sure that you understand that they’re diligent about their job like extroverts. The difference is that introverts are usually more analytical and often thrive when working by themselves. When managing introverts, there are things that you have to remember:

  • Allow them tasks that make them feel confident about the work that they completed individually
  • Give them assignments that involve understanding how people think and getting into people’s mindsets
  • Give them opportunities to be empathetic toward others and show compassion
  • Give them ways to express their feelings outside of opportunities that exist only in a large group such as a one-on-one meeting with a supervisor or an individual PowerPoint

There are multiple books written to help you understand different people in the world and the workplace. A few of the books that can help you understand introverts are “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain or “Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney. If you want to understand your introverted employees better, this might be a way to get into their heads. That said, nothing is more powerful than getting to know everyone as an individual.

Manage all employees with equal compassion

Whether they are introverted or extroverted, it’s important to coach your employees in a way to foster their confidence. You’ll probably have a team that consists of both introverts and extroverts. It’s not necessarily dominant on either side, depending on your industry. Still, it’s essential to understand how to talk to each of the unique members of your team. If you feel like you want to get a handle on everyone’s personality on your team, you can have them take assessments such as the MBTI so that you can be informed regarding who you have on your team. The results of assessments like the MBTI might be able to show you untapped skills and traits that you wouldn’t have seen in an employee otherwise, which can be incredibly valuable. It’s also a great way to get to know each person individually. Another thing that you can do is challenge your team’s strengths.

Challenging introverts

Allow introverts the challenge of speaking their minds. Speaking up might not come naturally to them, but their ideas are valuable. One of the things that can help people grow in a job is to push their limits in a way that’s positive and healthy. To make this challenge healthy, you can let them know in advance what the agenda is for an upcoming meeting and let them know that you’d like to hear their thoughts. They’ll likely want to come prepared, so this is a way to tell them that you’d like to involve them and simultaneously appreciate that they need the time to think.

For extroverts, give them an assignment where they need to work one-on-one with someone. Allow them to compromise and listen to other people’s ideas.

Learning more about your supervisor self in therapy

One of the best places to learn about your career, and how to best manage your employees is in therapy. Whether you talk to a counselor or therapist in person or someone online, you can learn so much about yourself through mental health treatment. Being a supervisor is a tough job that can come with a lot of stress, so it’s a great place to unwind and problem solve. Whether you choose a local counselor or someone who practices online, there’s so much to learn about introverts, extroverts, and yourself when you talk to a mental health professional.

For more great career advice, check out the other blogs on Career Geek.

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