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tips of working with introverts and extroverts professionals

Introverts and Extroverts: Working with all Kinds

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just got along? You’ve probably had days where work gets stressful and you just want everyone to get their stuff together. Figuring out how other people work and how you can work around them isn’t always an easy task! 

team members are full with Introverts and Extroverts

Clear verbal communication and efficient teamwork keeps everything running smoothly. No matter how “remote” your job may be, you probably still have to answer to a higher-up or communicate with your clients--there’s no way to avoid it!

And with so many personalities in an office, how can you best exercise good people skills? Getting along with everyone can be a daunting task for some more than others. For example, you might prefer working alone, but Chatty Cathy in the office next to you won’t leave you to work in peace. Or maybe you like to hold big brainstorming meetings, but a few of your peers just won’t participate. Or maybe your group can never agree on how to hold a Zoom meeting. 

These examples illustrate the importance of knowing the social styles of your coworkers! Whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert will affect the way they interact and communicate with others. 

Today, we’ll talk about identifying introverts and extroverts at work, and highlight our best practices for keeping balance between the two!

What Makes an Introvert/Extrovert?

Introverts are often seen as “shy” or “quiet” people who keep to themselves and stay away from big groups of people. Extroverts are often labeled as “life of the party,” or “outgoing people” who love a big social gathering. Though these personality traits can be quite consistent between the two types, being an “introvert” or an “extrovert” is actually defined by other factors.

Psychologist Carl Jung was the first to come up with the idea of “introversion and extraversion” as he originally called it. Extraverted people directed their energy towards other people, and gained energy through social interactions with others. Introverted people directed their energy inwards, gaining energy through their own thoughtful activities. 

You can also think of your energy like a battery. The energy in your battery allows you to work, interact, and go about your day-to-day tasks. Ask yourself: what charges your battery? 

Dinner Party with different members of Introverts and Extroverts

Extroverts might feel energized after a dinner party with their friends, or after meeting someone new. After a long week of working on their own, extroverts might need a night out with some friends. Introverts on the other hand, might feel tired after big social gatherings. They energize by spending time on their own hobby, or by meeting a close friend for coffee. 

Reading a Book is introvert

Still not sure which one you are? Take this quick test to determine whether you’re an introvert or extrovert! 

What Do These Look Like at Work?

Team members are working and corporate in the office

Now that we’ve covered the basics of introverts and extroverts, let’s see how they might present themselves in the workplace. (Remember, this might not apply to ALL introverts or extroverts, but these are examples of how they might present themselves!)

How Many of These Do You Recognize--Either in Yourself or Others?

Introverts

Extroverts

Prefer to work alone

Prefer to work in groups

Ruminates on thoughts before speaking

First to raise their hand and speak

Plans carefully for each step

“Big picture” focused

Introspective and inquisitive

People-oriented and expressive

Often prefer writing over talking

Often prefers talking over writing

Prefers one-on-one conversations

Prefers group conversations

Often self-motivated

Thrives on outside affirmation

Creates a plan before starting

Adapts easily to new situations


With all these differences in work style, of course there will be friction! Read on to see some ways to work effectively with each type. Whether you’re a manager or a coworker, learning to work with different personality types will allow them to show you their best work. 

Working Effectively with Introverts

some tips of working with introverts coworker at work

Big group meetings and conferences aren’t the best way to include ideas from your introvert colleagues. Use these tips to include everyone’s ideas, no matter how quiet they may seem!

  • If you’re holding a big meeting or conference (even if it’s online, like on Zoom), plan some time for breakout groups or smaller discussion groups. Introverts might be more open to sharing ideas in smaller settings.
  • Send emails and memos rather than calling. This allows them some time to think before responding. 
  • Schedule meetings in advance so that they can plan for it. It might also be a good idea to send out meeting agendas ahead of time so they can prepare. 
  • Incorporate their detailed plans for projects. Introverts work better when they have set steps, and they often take time to plan each part!

Working Effectively with Extroverts

Extroverts Working and discussing their ideas with others

Since so many offices are working remotely or working from home, it’s important to check in with your extrovert coworkers. Working alone for a long period of time can be tiring for some! 

  • Hold group meetings where they can collaborate with others on projects and brainstorming. This can even be on Zoom--keep extroverts in the social loop.
  • Provide frequent feedback (verbal or written), and encourage their enthusiasm and “go-getter” mentality. 
  • Vary assignments and groups so they have a chance to mingle and interact in different settings. 
  • Invite them to plan projects and events with their big-picture mentality. Extroverts can often visualize right from the get-go. Roll with it! 

Introverts and Extroverts in a Group

It’s much easier to interact with introverts and extroverts on a case-by-case basis, but what if you have them all in a group? It’s important to keep a good balance to engage both kinds.

  • Group meetings allow extroverts to socialize, and sending out the agenda beforehand gives introverts time to prepare.
  • Work lunches are a great token of appreciation to extroverts, but introverts may prefer a day off or a meaningful gift card. 
  • Extroverts might enjoy a good brainstorming session, but touch base with introverts afterwards to see what they want to contribute. 
  • Introverts may love working from home, but make phone or video calls to extroverts to see how their energy levels are when they’re away from the group.
Working from Home tips for Introverts and Extroverts

In any circumstance, remember to build your team up and encourage them in the roles they’re playing! While extroverts can be the people-magnets and draw people into your company, introverts can work behind the scenes to bring depth to the team. 

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introverts reading her book in front of Business Office Standing Desk Oak Black

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