Is a quietly purring Rolex watch any less effective then the loud, booming chimes of Big Ben? Absolutely not! Quiet and reserved does not mean a compromise in performance – just like introverts in the workplace.
Many times, business success is associated with the big, the bold and the brash. However, that can be misleading as many a company or business will have introverted employees who while they may hold back because of their nature, they actually make great members of the team. As a manager, here’s what you can do to do get the best from your more introverted employees and earn their maximum respect.
Get them involved.
Ever noticed how at a lot of meetings you tend to find one or two employees who try to dominate the ebb and flow? For sure, those are your extrovert employees. On the other hand, then there’s those who never seem to speak out – your more introverted employees. While they may have just as much to offer with their well thought out ideas, they struggle to articulate themselves in such an open, public environment and fashion.
The key here? Find ways to get them involved outside of the public arena. Follow-up one-to-one meetings are ideal for that (see below). Maybe also consider follow up emails, or even a suggestion box, so as to allow your more introverted employees the chance to have their voice heard too!
Offer up time to think.
Business so often relies on the “here and now” and the push for immediate solutions. As we know though, Rome was not built in a day! Where possible, allow your introvert employees some time to mull things over. Chances are you’ll get better, more sustainable and thorough results as opposed to some of the more spur of the moment suggestions that you will get from your extrovert employees.
Alternative activities and bonding.
Let’s face it, boardrooms and meeting rooms can be stuffy and even oppressive at the best of times. It may sound counter-intuitive, but introverts often do better in more unorthodox settings. So, consider different activities for your team – away days or an evening out. The bonding and trust dynamics take on a different form outside of the office. Who knows what your more introverted employee may come up with in casual conversation over a frame or two of bowling!
The benefits of in-office massage.
Sticking with conducive environments at work for introverts, an in-office massage is an ideal solution! With an emphasis on relaxation and familiarity, a massage can be a great way to break down an introvert’s reluctance to offer up their ideas!
More one-to-one meetings.
As we saw, not everyone does the best in a group setting. You wouldn’t expect everyone to open up in front of their doctor if they were doing it as part of a group right?! Make sure you always make time for those regular one-to-one meetings to encourage your more introverted employees to open up and be as creative as they can possibly be without the need for those more public forums!