How to manage Introvert Employees in the Workplace? | Aparna Sharma | Senior HR Professional & Certified Corporate Director I Editor’s Collection
There’s a huge misconception in the business world that you need to be loud, powerful, assertive, sticking your chest out and grinding to get what you want.
But in fact, quiet employees often are more successful and are considered better leaders.
Why is that?
1. Introverts are better Listeners
Introverts are naturally better listeners, which is great when you’re leading a team.
Extroverted leaders on the other hand, tend to do most of the talking without taking into account much of their employees’ opinions. They’re generally better with the command-and-control type of management, whereas introverts are more inclusive.
2. Introverts are more Humble
The best leaders practice what’s known as “Servant Leadership”, which is essentially when you put your employees first and are acting to serve them.
According to research about Servant Leadership, the traits associated with servant leadership, like humility, are found more in introverts.
3. Introverts are more Creative
Quieter employees tend to be more reflective and take their time to analyze what’s going on.
That reflection makes you more creative and helps you make smarter decisions.
Extroverts on the other hand, tend to be a bit more aggressive when it comes to decision making.
4. Introverts form Deeper Connections
Introverts prefer to build those deeper, one-on-one connections, which is important for employee engagement.
They’re much more likely to get to know their team members on a more personal level, making employees feel more connected to the leader.
Extroverts are more likely to have more connections, but less meaningful.
5. Introverts are more Self-Aware
Self-awareness is one of the most important things you can have to be an emotionally intelligent leader.
That self-awareness lets them listen attentively, pick up on social cues, process information, and see the bigger picture.
They love that time alone to process the information.
Introverts and quiet employees work differently, but managers might be missing out a on a huge opportunity by not fully trying to understand them and adapting the way they manage them.
Not only is it important for the success of your business, but it’s important for the wellbeing of your employees and your culture.
Tips to manage Quiet employees
As a leader, you’ll have to learn how to deal with multiple personality types and adjust your management style based on those personalities.
Here are a few ideas to help you manage those quiet employees better.
1. Don’t Assume
The best tip I can give you by far is not to assume anything. They might be quiet in meetings or at their desk, but don’t assume that they’re in a bad mood or disengaged.
They might be processing some information that was just given to them or thinking about something, but they could be one of the more engaged members of your team.
2. Don’t just show up at their Desk
Chances are, they’ll prefer to communicate by email or chat, so respect that.
If you just show up at their desk or catch them by surprise, they likely won’t give you a good answer. They need time to process and think about what they want to say.
Respect that, and give them the space/time they need.
3. Use One-on-Ones
Trust me when I say one-on-ones is where you’re going to get the best feedback out of your quieter employees.
They’ll be comfortable in that calm, quiet environment.