Who are introverts, and how do you manage them when your project team has extroverts? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how to manage everyone equally.
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In Review – How to Manage Introverts in the Office
People tend to be either introverted or extroverted, though most people probably land somewhere in-between. As a manager, it’s important to consider the characteristics of your team members when you make a variety decisions, ranging from the duration of your project schedule to the very project management tools that you choose at the onset of the project. In this video, Jennifer talked about managing those who are introverted, and what that means when leading a team.
Certainly, there’s been a lot of ink, both real and digital, spilled discussing the introverted, their strengths and how they work and can help with a project in ways differing from extroverts. Jennifer noted that we’ve published some posts responding to the trend.
In her video, she offered a short tutorial to define introverts, what assets they bring to the team and, most importantly, how to successfully manage them to reap the benefits of their participation.
What Is an Introvert?
According to Myers & Briggs Type Indicator, a way to determine a person’s personality, an introvert has these attributes:
- Gets energy from dealing with ideas
- Prefers doing things alone or with one or two people
- Prefers to know a few people well
- Seen as reflective or reserved
- Has a quiet strength
- Sees the “What is” in a situation
What Do Introverts Do Well?
Jennifer talked about how an introvert can bring a special set of skills to a team. These are some of the things that introverts offer:
- Creates and invents new ideas
- Excels at group decisions
- Plans and thinks things through
- Listens well
- Produces with accuracy
- Is persistent
Of course, knowing these things is only the first part of being able to manage introverts. The team will not be made up entirely of introverts, of course, and some will be more introverted than others, but applying these rules will help you integrate the more introverted into your team.
- Assess Your Own Style and Adjust: First, it’s important to know how you naturally manage, and then see how that aligns with the introverts on your team. Maybe some of the techniques you use are great for more outgoing people. If that’s so, adjust your style to address a wider spectrum of people.
- Provide Communications in Writing: People absorb information in different ways. Even the most attentive are going to need to hear things more than once to fully digest it. This goes more so for introverts, so it’s helpful to communicate in writing. That way they can engage in their own way.
- Allow Time Alone to Think & Create: If introverts can be innovative, then give them the atmosphere they need to come up with those new ideas. That means alone time, so schedule it into their work flow.
- Give Leadership Opportunities: Introverts tend to be less competitive than extroverts, and they are more likely to be supportive of other teammates. Therefore, give them a chance to take the reigns on some task, or give them greater responsibilities and opportunities to lead. They might prove more able because of their ability to be supportive.
- Encourage Them to Speak Up: Introverts might not join the conversation, but they’re in the background sucking up all the information and formulating plans in their minds. Be sure to get them to participate, so those ideas can have a chance to be heard.
Pro-Tip: Introverts make great leaders if you play to their strengths. They listen, foster quality and are effective in one-on-one meetings. You might groom an introvert for a managerial position or to take a greater leadership role in the team.
Today we’re talking about How to Manage Introverts in the Office. So much has been written about introverts, and even in our blog, we talk a lot about why introverts make such great leaders. But it can be challenging on teams when we have a mix of extroverts and introverts.
So in this whiteboard session, I wanna talk a little bit about what introverts are, what they do well, and a few tips on how to manage them.
Well, according to Myers-Briggs, how to identify an introvert is, they get their energy in dealing with ideas and memories and pictures. They prefer doing things alone, or with one or two people.
They prefer knowing a few people very well, and they’re seen as reflective or reserved, but not shy. They also are seen and perceived as having a quiet strength. And they see the “What is,” instead of the “What if.”
So here are a few things that they do well. So they create and invent new ideas. They excel at group decisions. They plan and think things through. They also listen and produce their deliverables with a high sense of accuracy, and they’re very persistent. They don’t give up on things.
So, how do you manage introverts and set them up to thrive?
Number one, assess your own style and adjust. If you’re an extrovert, you simply have a different style, and different things appeal to the introverts.
Number two, provide communications in writing. They like to have things in writing that they can take back and really study what’s being communicated and asked of them.
Number three, allow them time alone to think and create.
Number four, give them leadership opportunities. They’re less competitive than extroverts, and they’re more apt to support the other team members.
Number five, encourage them to speak up. They’re the people in the room who are taking in a lot of data, and formulating what’s being said, and creating a plan.
So as you can see through these things, having software tools, and collaboration tools, are really helpful to being able to communicate effectively with, and manage introverts.
So if you need a tool to help manage the introverts in your office, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.