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Introverts & Extroverts In The Workplace: What You Need To Know

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One of the simplest ways to explain someone’s personality is to describe them as an introvert or an extrovert. In addition to this, one of the simplest ways to think about these two personalities is introverts are shy and extroverts are outgoing.

We all generalize like this—especially when it comes to starting your career! Chances are, if asked during an interview if you’re an introvert or extrovert you would say, “I’m an extrovert” (even if you’re not). We do this because we assume that employers are more likely to hire an extrovert because they’re more outgoing and sociable.

The truth is, there’s a lot more to introverts and extroverts than being shy and outgoing. And both of these personalities have a lot to offer a potential employer.

Why Both Are Great Employees

Introverts In The Workplace

Extroverts In The Workplace

  • Introverts prefer to avoid conflict, don’t like making people angry and if a problem does present itself they deal with it and move on
  • Extroverts like to check in with coworkers just to see how things are going, see what others are working on and collaborate on ideas—this is how they energize
  • As leaders, introverts listen to group members talk and consider their ideas genuinely
  • As a part of any team, extroverts will present tons of ideas and then break everything down from there. They like talking about an idea and then seeing where it can go
  • Sometimes introverts doubt their abilities even though they’re seriously knowledgeable and have egg-cellent ideas to contribute to any team
  • Being around other coworkers energizes and increases productivity for extroverts
  • Though quiet, introverts have just as many ideas, opinions and points to makes as the next person—they just need the right moment to present them
  • External stimulus, action and reward are motivators for extroverts
  • Introverts enjoy being sociable, however, in a bigger group they prefer not to be the centre of attention or focus
  • Extroverts are able to quickly respond to ideas, responsibilities and requests without much advanced thinking or planning

How Both Are Great Employees

Introverts prefer to work in quieter environments as lots of hustle and bustle tends to drain them out. This doesn’t mean that they need to stay locked up in their private office all day though. It just means that they may stay at their desk more and keep to themselves during the workday. Introverts bring tons of ideas, knowledge and skills to the workplace—they just might not be as open with them.

Extroverts, on the other hand, develop their ideas through discussion and collaboration. Active interaction is what energizes them and makes them a productive employee. With excellent verbal skills, extroverts aren’t afraid to casually talk about any of their ideas or questions they may have.

How You Can Work Well With Everyone

If you’re headed into the workforce for the first time, you will quickly realize that the personalities are endless. Here are some tips on how you can work efficiently and productively no matter how many extroverts and introverts you’re surrounded by!

Working With An Introvert: Don’t worry that an introverted coworker doesn’t like you just because they’re not your best friend instantly. They will open up when the time is right. Also, introverts have a lot to contribute so don’t mistake their calm presence for being unskillful. If you’re working with an introvert be sure to respect their need to work in a quiet environment, ask them questions or for feedback and be sure to slow down and listen to what they have to say.

Working With An Extrovert: As a new hire, it can be easy to get intimidated by an extroverted coworker. Remember that they’re just being friendly and opening you up to the workplace. Listen to their ideas, contribute to the conversation when appropriate and don’t be afraid to step back for a moment to process what they’re discussing.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Share with us how you work well by posting a comment below!

Photo Credit: @Doug88888

Written by

Meghan Greaves is a Bachelor of Arts - Sociology and Marketing Management student at the University of Guelph. She also earned a Business Administration – Marketing (Co-op) diploma from Conestoga College in 2012. Meghan is currently completing a summer internship with TalentEgg as a Editorial & Marketing intern.
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