One of the most meaningful sayings, “Let your work do the talking,” is often ignored. Many people seem to have relied on talk to assess personalities, and if entrepreneurs do the same, they tend to ignore introverts, irrespective of their work.
Some of the most famous and impactful public personalities were and are introverts, like Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Warren Buffet, to name a few. Given their massive global presence and stature, one would think of them as being extroverts. The general misconception is that introverts are inconsequential since they prefer to keep a low profile and are not vocal. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Introverts could be equally intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious as extroverts, and the difference lies in their natures and expectations of themselves and others.
A workspace is where one meets people with diverse personalities and natures, all offering varied talents and qualities that, when tapped sensibly, can result in immense benefits for the organization and the individuals themselves. An able leader or team member should understand the distinctions between human minds and nurture them to get the best out of them.
Introverts require more consideration and sensitivity than most people. As Susan Cain, the author of the popular book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” observes, “We encourage introverts to act like extroverts instead of acting like their best selves.” Instead of pushing them to be something they are not, we need to nurture their personalities as assets to the organization.
There are online personality tests that will help make your job easier and more productive. Ask your staff to take the entrepreneur personality test, which would define and help you understand and manage them better.
Let us begin by listing the positives of an introvert, which will help you understand and appreciate them.
- Introverts are usually good listeners but do not express themselves often.
- Introverts could be humble but rarely express themselves.
- Introverts are usually deep thinkers and form deep bonds with people they know.
- They are connected to their sensitive side and can therefore be more creative than typical extroverts.
- Introverts are self-aware and therefore considerate and understanding towards others.
Entrepreneurs need to learn to manage both introverts and extroverts well to make them better leaders and co-workers. Here are a few pointers as to how to deal with an introvert better.
- The assumption is the root cause of all misunderstandings:Do not assume quietness to be a weakness. Still, water runs deep, which could aptly describe some introverts.
- Respecting their Space: Introverts like to keep to themselves and get upset when someone infringes their personal space without permission. Discuss the project with them, preferably in a one-on-one meeting, and give them adequate space and time to revert to the plan. You will not be disappointed.
- Value their Silence: Misconstruing an introvert’s silence would be a huge disservice. An introvert is usually silent, either because they are formulating a plan or because there is nothing more to be said on the topic. In any case, one thinks better in silence than in a noisy atmosphere.
- Modes of Communication: Ideally, an introvert would prefer minimal communication, where all facts are sent virtually, followed by, if necessary, a one-on-one meeting. Your quiet colleague would be more productive when addressed individually in their space instead of in a joint staff meeting. All it would take is a little effort from you.
- Gaining their trust: As their first choice is to be prudent with their spoken words, there might be times when they are uncomfortable and do not speak up for themselves. At such times, being their boss or team member, you might need to speak up and take a stand for them, thereby building their trust in you. Due to their sensitive and quiet natures, it takes them longer to trust, but once they do, they will stand by you no matter what, or till the day you shatter their trust in you.
- Recognize and reward their hard work and talent:Recognize and reward their work without making them feel rejected or having to point it out to you. Introverts silently deliver productivity, but they are, by no means, pushovers.
The world has finally created the long-overdue space for introverts to shine, and they have begun to dazzle the world with their brilliance as we become acquainted with more geniuses because the most valuable work happens in silence.