Whether you manage introverts on your team or are one yourself, most of us treat introversion almost as a health crisis.
While extroverts relish attention and feed off the ensuing scrutiny and interaction, introverts recharge when they are left in solitude. That may not seem like the most effective workplace strategy and many are surprised to learn that there are leaders who, despite their prominence and public persona, are actually introverts.
Introverts can be assets to your team. If you are an introverted leader or a leader of introverts, use these strategies to leverage this underrated trait.
Introverts are inherently deep thinkers. The time that others spend talking to each other, they invest in quiet observation and analysis. Practiced over a long period, it gives the observer deep insight into the personalities of others, as well as their motivations.
This knowledge can be instrumental in scenarios such as negotiations, where an understanding of the other party’s unspoken thoughts and emotions is invaluable. These powers of analysis apply just as well to comparative analyses of situations devoid of the human factor – introverts can apply their deep thought to varied circumstances.
Introverts are rarely even remotely like the caricatures they are made out to be by Hollywood. Behavior you may mistake for shyness is simply an aversion to over-interaction. Where could this be helpful? In professional networking.
Meaningful networking goes beyond building a large number of relationships; it is quality over quantity. Introverted professionals perhaps understand the value of relations better than most others. With their experience in assessing a crowd from afar, they have an advantage over those who approach networking without a suitable plan.
One of the chief drawbacks of office interactions is that they can veer off the neutral path. When people gel too well together, it can lead to office dalliances; when they chafe, it can result in factionalism and rivalry.
With their one-step-removed approach to socializing in the office, you can rest assured that an introverted employee is unlikely to be drawn into either scenario. That’s wonderful in itself but the true value of an introvert’s dissociative personality lies in their ability to focus on their job rather than be distracted by unnecessary emotion and office politics.
Despite all its advances, science cannot quite tell us why calmness begets calmness. To be in the presence of a quiet, composed person is to be imbued, at least to some extent, with the
same sangfroid. Introverted employees do not just possess a serenity but hold it in a palpable sense about them.
Their quiet dignity is likely to ameliorate the chaos that certain other team members carry about themselves. When embodied in a leader, this characteristic flows down to the office floor, creating a calmer, more pleasant and more conducive workplace where everyone’s voice is valued, no matter how reticent they are otherwise. Drop me a line to learn how to harness the power of introversion within yourself or in your team.