Idea in short

They are unassuming, silent and never seek attention. Introverts are best kept in the background. What they do there is often invisible. But, what they deliver is of usually, excellent quality!

Psychologist Carl Jung was the first person to describe these two personality extremes back in the 1960s. He wrote that introverts and extroverts could be separated based on how they regain energy:

  • Introverts, his basic definition said, prefer minimally stimulating environments, and they need time alone to recharge
  • Extroverts refuel by being with others

Characteristics

People who are considered introverted are self-absorbed, much unlike the extroverts in the leagues of the jester and the self-proponent. Their very quiet and restrained nature is, in most cases, drowned by others, which leads to introverts often not being perceived correctly. This is true in private life as well as in the workplace. It comes with both, advantages and disadvantages.

At a glance

  • Introverted
  • Does not like to talk (in front of many people)
  • Must be on its own
  • Listener
  • More passive than active
  • More of a single player / individual contributor than a team player
  • Tends to perfectionism
  • Avoid conflicts and open disputes
  • Works effectively
  • Is focused
  • Taken seriously
  • Does not like small talk (especially not about private matters)
  • Does not like physical proximity

 How to deal with them?

The greatest difficulty when dealing with introverted workers is to lure them out of their reservations. In other words, how can you manage your colleague to trust you:

  • To say something about XY?
  • Deal with rejections
  • To work in the team?
  • Pull the helm
  • Actively end a conflict

The solution lies in accepting them as they are and giving them the space they need.

The biggest mistake that one could make in dealing with introverts is to corner them into extroversion. Introverts perceive such efforts as harassments, much in contrast to your good-willed efforts. Forcing introverts to be happy in a crowd is basically rendering damage!

You are better off to give them the space and time they need. Let the introverts decide for themselves when they want to speak and give them the opportunity to open up.

At the same time, take a step back. Do not restrict your introverted colleague, either physically and verbally. They require a lot of patience and perseverance, which are more than worth your efforts!

Team work

In general, the introverts prefer to conduct conversations under two eyes instead of in a group setting. To them, teamwork is not a foreign word, but a different perception. Forcing them to work in a team will not bestow happiness upon them.

While extroverts are only really getting warm when they come into contact with others, this kind of interaction is extremely tiring for introverts!

It is also important not to generalize introversion as a universal trait of some colleagues. If some colleague do not want to have lunch with you because of their character traits, accept this. But, this does not mean that you have to let go of your attempts.  It may well be that they want to accept your lunch invitation!

By sending the appropriate signals to introverts and through open communications, you can get them to open up!

Summary