Management: Introverts and Extroverts
Welcome to the workplace…
Filled with different:
There are too many (a, b) to tackle, so let’s be practical.
Good managers know how to manage different
Most employees will fall into two main categories:
Introverts (30-50% of the population)
And Extroverts (50-70% of the population)
Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and need to be properly managed to be:
(a) their happiest
(b) their most productive self
(c) ingrained with the team
The crucial difference: arousal.
Extroversion: Preference for more stimulating environments.
Introversion: Preference for less stimulating environments.
Carl Jung–“There is no such person as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.”
Research has shown this leads to different dominant skill sets.
Processing new information
Applying new knowledge quickly
Talking more abstractly
Practical clothing choices
Seek long term gratification
Less overall happiness
Likelier to be non-American
Decorative clothing choices
Seek instant gratification
Greater overall happiness
Likelier to be American
And positions in which the temperaments are comfortable
Rules for Managing Introverts:
1.) Their unique perspective.
2.) Their need for privacy.
3.) Their need to observe first.
4.) Publicly reprimand them.
5.) Demand instant answers.
6.) Interrupt them.
7.) Try to make them extroverts.
8.) Give them advance notice.
9.) Help them find a partner / small group.
10.) Teach them new skills privately.
Rules for Managing Extroverts:
1.) Their unique perspective.
2.) Their independence.
3.) Their need to “jump in” publicly.
4.) Force them away from others.
5.) Deflate their excitement.
6.) Compliment them publicly.
7.) Allow them to talk things out.
8.) Make physical and verbal gestures of affection.
9.) Offer them options.
10.) Accept exuberance.
But when they’re together, real magic happens.
Mixing Extroverts and Introverts Makes a Better Team
The all-extrovert team:
The strength: Higher collaboration
The pitfall: Less focused individual work
The strength: Greater adaptability
The pitfall: Less deliberate “progress”
The all-introvert team:
The strength: Focused individual work
The pitfall: Lower collaboration
The strength: More deliberate “progress”
The pitfall: Lower adaptability
The mixed team:
Awareness of strengths and weaknesses leads to a balanced and versatile team.
But avoid these common mistakes:
Chaotic Brainstorming is known to alienate both temperament types
The Uneven Communication Problem
What they bring to the table: Dominating discussion habits
What they take from the table: ‘Everyone else must be unprepared or just have nothing to say.’
What they bring back to the table: Just throwing out ideas-good or bad–to fill the awkward silence.
What they bring to the table: An unwillingness to butt in
What they take from the table: ‘It’s futile to try to get my point across to these guys.’
What they bring back to the table: Continued silence.
The Solution: Throw out the problem to be addressed in the meeting early. Introverts work in solitude, and extroverts have time to sort through ideas to find their best.
A number of studies have shown that introverts tend to rate the job performance of their extroverted colleagues much lower than other extroverts would.
The Solution: Just be aware!