What is an introvert? An introvert can be defined as someone who loses energy when spending time with people and uses alone time to recharge that energy. Introverts are generally more quiet and thoughtful and may have trouble sharing thoughts in loud meetings. The best, most diverse teams have a mix of extroverts and introverts. Here are some ways to get the most out of your introverted employees:
Actively Seek Out Their Opinions: Introverted employees are generally more content to let other people do the talking. Ask specifically for their thoughts during meetings. Try meeting one on one with introverted employees frequently. This might be more comfortable for your employees, and you will probably get better insight from them.
Give Them Time: Giving introverted employees time to think and prepare can help them to feel more confident, and help you get the best results. You can achieve this by handing out meeting agendas beforehand so introverts have time to prepare to participate fully. Also, you need to feel comfortable with silence once in awhile. Introverts generally don’t respond immediately to questions and it’s okay to give them a little time, and silence, to get their answer.
Have Meetings Early in the Day: As the day goes on, introverts tend to get drained. Early in the mornings, introverts have been exposed to little stimuli and are at their greatest amount of energy. Having morning meetings can help introverts to put in more energy during meetings and make your meetings more productive.
Provide Quiet Spaces: Introverts need to have quiet alone spaces to recharge, especially when there is a lot of stimuli. In a workspace there is a lot of natural stimuli present. Try to provide a quiet office or cubicle for your introverted employees. If that’s not practical, provide a quiet space in your office for employees to think.
Different employees have different needs and unique strengths. Use these tips to help your introverted employees reach their full potential.