Advantages of Introverts in the Workplace
Do you work with an introvert? Are you an introvert yourself? Once overlooked, the skills of introverts are gaining new appreciation in the workplace. Here’s how the quiet side of the population benefit everyone.
Extroverts get attention, but introverts get stuff done. That’s a somewhat oversimplified take on personality traits, but sometimes introverts can be overlooked
along with their real contributions. The main difference between the personalities is extroverts gain energy through interactions with others, while introverts are energized by time alone or with small groups of friends. Here are the advantages that introverts bring to the office, with the singular quiet focus and thoughtfulness that they provide.
Introverts are thoughtful
Don't confuse introversion with shyness. Being shy is the fear of social judgment, but being introverted means you think quietly before you speak. Extroverts tend to process their thoughts by talking, which can be good for brainstorming but cause problems if you need to be focused and precise. Introverts are internal processors that prefer to think through all the options before sharing their well-reasoned opinions. This thoughtfulness can be especially welcome during times of confusion when too much talking can simply contribute to the clutter.
Their words carry weight
An introvert may not be the first, second or even third person to speak up in a meeting. This is why their words can be impactful. While the extroverts are going back and forth, the introverts are taking time to measure what they want to say, and find the right time to weigh in. There are few things that can cut through the noise of a meeting as a well-placed thoughtful remark from the quiet person in the corner of the room.
Introverts have observations skills
When you’re not too focused on always talking, you can also observe what others overlook. It’s no surprise that many famous artistic people like Stephen Spielberg and J.K. Rowling identify as introverts, because this allows them to turn their focus and attention inward to their work. This ability is helpful in any workplace as well. We need people who can sit down, focus and get work done.
Introverts are interested in self-knowledge
By their very nature, extroverts are focused on others. They interact, they get people out of their shell and they can be natural leaders. But during this process, extroverts may forget to work on improving their own selves. In contrast, it comes naturally for introverts to inspect themselves, see where they can improve and work on professional and personal development.
The truth is a thriving workplace needs the traits of both introverts and extroverts, but sometimes it feels like extroverts by their nature gather the lion’s share of attention. If you're an extrovert, remember the benefits that introverts bring to any team when you’re hiring, considering how to work with your coworkers, having a meeting or are looking for opinions. Introverts are happy to share, if you just give them the time and space. If you're an introvert, celebrate your strengths and communicate your need to reflect with your boss and coworkers.