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In a World that Loves Extroverts: Powerful Considerations for Our Introvert Leaders

Timely Considerations for Our Introvert Leaders

How many extroverts here in our forum?

I’d be willing to bet we’ve got a lot of leaders here to are gregarious by nature, who thrive being in the spotlight. After all, it’s a very admiral quality in leaders. Most organizations seem to prefer hiring people who exude extrovert qualities (in many industries, not all). We need extroverts. They help balance things out.

However, according to a study conducted a few years ago, about one-third (to 40%) of us are introverts (Cook, 2012).  Click here to watch a Ted Talk  with Susan Cane.

That means that a lot of our customers are introverts, too. How are you (or are you) appealing to your introvert customer’s needs (is your marketing primarily pointed at extroverts?).

How does it impact us when we’re building teams? We expect our teams to close ranks, be innovative, and by the sheer nature of teamwork, exude the power of several professionals diving into a project with the intent to stimulate creativity and efficiency.

But when we have an introvert (or two) in that team, it just might throw things off a bit. When the introvert is expected to participate in an active group, when in reality he is far more efficient, innovative, and creative when working in a quiet independent environment – we run the risk of reducing quality productivity.

When we have talented introverts on our team, they really should be offered and encouraged to work alone where efficiency and creativity is piqued.

Common Misconceptions about Introverts

  • They aren’t social. Yes, we are social beings too. Just a different type of social. We still enjoy and crave social interactions. We still desire workplace relationships
  • They don’t do much talking. This oftentimes equates to lack of participation, lack of input, or some type of dissonance. Truth be told, there is a lot to be said when our executive spends more time listening… than talking
  • They might not contribute much during meetings. That is because they are generally spending that time absorbing and assessing the conversation and material. They are internalizing, so when they do speak – they have contributed rich solutions and ideas
  • Sometimes they may seem like a wallflower. Quite the contrary. Oftentimes introverts lack of self-seeking behavior is deferred because they want to help others shine

So how do you ensure your introvert customers are cared for in a manner that is respectful and evokes a response?

Any suggestions?

 

Reference:

Gook, G. (January, 2012). The power of introverts: A manifesto for quiet brilliance. Scientific American.