We all know that a diverse workforce is a productive, innovative and creative one. And while this extends to hiring people from different genders, races, ages, abilities and religious backgrounds – it should also extend to hiring people with different personalities.
Why? Well you don’t want a department full of expressive, sociable team leaders for example. You also want the deep thinkers, the good listeners, the empathetic and quietly confident ones as well.
It’s because of this that you need a good mix of both introverts and extroverts in your workforce. But this isn’t always easy, as both types have their various quirks that you need to be aware of. Here are some differences to consider:
1. Interview process
It’s a generalisation that introverts are always shy and retiring types. In fact, they can be very eloquent and confident, depending on the situation. But many are not. Depending on the role you’re hiring for, it’s worth being aware that a single 45 minute interview may not always be the best way to determine if someone would be suitable for a role, and would suit your company. Introverts may be slower to “sell” themselves to you, while extroverts may overstate their achievements and may seem very likeable on the surface. Ensure you take this into account, depending on the role you’re hiring for, and then adjust the interview process appropriately.
2. Working environment
In Susan Cain’s book Quiet, she examines how open plan offices don’t always suit more introverted personalities. In this article she comments further: “Introverts recharge their batteries by being more on their own or in low-key environments, and extroverts recharge their batteries by being in spaces where there’s a lot going on.” It’s for this reason that office environments need to provide pods, closed offices or other areas where introverts can work. Your office should also provide extroverts spaces where they can collaborate and thrive, as they are more comfortable with external stimuli like noise.
The traditional way of holding a meeting where people sit around a table and then have to speak up and “pitch” their idea to a large group of peers or suppliers, can be intimidating or unproductive to introverts. They may be more productive going to a quiet space and thinking through the particular challenge and then writing up their ideas in an email or discussing them face-to-face with their manager.
In the same way, an extrovert must learn not to dominate a meeting and once they’ve said their piece, should be encouraged to ask others questions or listen.
There are different degrees of introverts and extroverts. You get extroverted introverts who have trained themselves to be more outgoing when the need requires it. And you get introverted extroverts who also thrive on a bit of alone time. The trick is for employees to get to know themselves better, and then to upskill to fill any gaps required for them to be successful at their jobs. An example would be an introverted creative type who needed to be able to pitch his or her design ideas to clients, but hated public speaking. You would then need to help them become more confident, by recommending a public speaking course that could provide tips and tricks on how to improve.
Your organisation needs people of different types, so both extroverts and introverts should be celebrated for the unique set of skills and ways of thinking they bring to your company.
Provided by Fedhealth.