The Value of The Introvert Employee in the Workplace
Jan 15, 2018
Most people make the mistake of thinking that introverts are shy and timid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth…
If the statistics are true, depending on your industry, your workforce is probably made up of 50% extroverts and 50% introverts.
But while the world tends to understand the extrovert better, it's a good idea to know your team, and the value each one brings.
Introverts, unlike extroverts who are energised by being in the company of others, are energised by solitude.
They are internally focused while extroverts are externally focused. As a result, introverts tend to have distinct personality traits, like being very self-aware and observant.
Although the workplace is more geared for the extrovert, some of the most brilliant thinkers in history, as well as the most successful entrepreneurs to ever live, have been introverts: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, to name a few.
You can see from that list of wildly successful people, that being an introvert is advantageous to many…
What are some of the values an introverted employee brings to the work space?
Introverts think before speaking
Introverted people don’t tend to fly off the handle, so workplace eruptions are not a thing with them.
These people think a lot, and they think deep. They are not superficial and generally will not speak unless they have something of value to contribute. They listen, analyse and carefully consider.
When you are looking for solutions or ideas, give them some time to process their thoughts, and you’ll get realistic and objective suggestions that are more than you bargained for.
Provide exceptionally creative solutions
In a meeting, you may not get a raise of hands from them immediately, but give them some time to process their thinking, and you’re likely to get a highly creative solution that brings clarity.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Introverts are creative thinkers.
They are good at translating abstract concepts into understandable context, for example, adapting technical language into comprehensible language for the average person to understand.
While the extrovert enjoys bouncing ideas off co-workers and chatting up a storm, the introvert gets down to it, and focuses intently on completing tasks, provided they are given the atmosphere in which to do it in. Open workspaces may frustrate them, because they battle to concentrate with noise and distractions.
Introverts are often tenacious, and can focus for long periods of time, until the job gets done. This makes them good for delivering under pressure and achieving tight deadlines.
They don’t need to work with others. In fact, they prefer to work alone, even though they are able to see the value of teamwork.
They do not require validation or external affirmation; you can rely on them to get things done.
They first seek to understand before coming to their own conclusions, so introverts are very good at listening and observing.
Being good listeners makes them great leaders because they are able to make informed decisions and recognise that every party has their side of the story. Coupled with strategic thinking, they ask thought provoking questions, so often they make good interviewers.
Strangely enough, because of this rare ability, they are good in sales careers, and are bound to form strong relationships with your clients.
Motivated by fulfillment
Introverts are not motivated by the same things as extroverts are. They care more about work satisfaction and fulfillment than promotion, awards and remuneration.
They are geared to optimise everything: processes, presentations, meetings and so on.
They like to avoid big social get-togethers as they find all the noise and small talk draining. They don’t see value in discussing the weather and talking about silly things, because they are deep thinkers.
Because of this, they prefer to spend time with others on a one-on-one basis, asking relevant questions to gain insight and providing valuable feedback.