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Managing introverts and extroverts

buisnessmeeting26238539.jpgThere are countless personalities in the workplace. All people bring a different flare to what they do. By trying to understand the common character traits of different personalities, we can better understand how to communicate and work effectively with all kinds of individuals. While you can spend your whole life learning about all the different personalities out there, most people fit into two very general categories: extroverts and introverts. Understanding the differences between introverts and extroverts, is an excellent starting place for effectively working with and managing as many people as possible in the work place.

Managing extroverts

Extroverts are generally easy to spy. These individuals are assertive, energetic, and exciting. Extroverts love to be social. They enjoy talking and take pleasure in activities where there are large groups of people. You can generally spot an extrovert at places like parties, public demonstrations, or political groups. An extrovert prefers being with others to being alone. An extrovert is usually more quickly labeled as a leader. Extroverts enjoy taking risks. Extroverts generally say what is on their mind and tend to think as they speak rather than beforehand. Extroverts come across as confident and knowledgeable.

When managing extroverts you need to be sure to let actions speak louder than words. An extrovert may be able to talk about doing great things but the delivery of such tasks may leave you disappointed. Extroverts often rely on their relationships with others to compensate for their shortcomings on a professional level. Do not allow for first impressions and facades to define the extrovert's value in the work place. While it is entirely possible for an extrovert to excel in the workplace, it is a very common occurrence that the extrovert is promoted or more highly esteemed because of their personality rather than their performance. Do not allow the boisterous extrovert to run your team. Allow for the opinions of others and hold them equal to the extrovert regardless of whether or not the presentation was as flashy.

Managing introverts

Introverts are more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable. This does not mean that they do not enjoy being social, it simply means that they are satisfied with not being the center of attention or the instigator of conversations. Introverts tend to be more calm and thoughtful. Introverts value time alone and are more introspective. Introverts may have a smaller social circle, but the relationships they do have with friends tend to be more meaningful and established. Introverts like to observe situations before participating and will think more carefully about the things that they say before speaking.

Because introverts are generally so detail oriented, they can more easily be trusted to carry out a task on their own. Introverts are more comfortable with being held accountable for work that is performed on their own. Introverts enjoy being given feedback and love encouragement and validation. An introvert is more analytical and will therefore hold back ideas until they have been well thought out. In a group setting, this is important to remember as the extrovert may be bolder in voicing their decisions but the introvert is more likely to be right because of the thought that they have put into what they are sharing. Introverts pay attention to detail and are therefore often labeled as perfectionists. As a manager, you can help an introvert by reminding them that it is ok to relax a little bit and not feel so obligated to think through every detail before coming to a conclusion. The value of an introvert is often overlooked because the introvert is not likely going to be the one pleading his or her own case. With introverts, actions speak louder than words.

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