The Beauty of a Wallflower: A Guide to Understanding and Engaging Introverts.
We all have that one friend. The one we have to coax to come out on a Friday night or is all too often found hanging out near the coat closet at a distance cousin’s wedding. The one we turn to when we need to have a peaceful conversation over eggs benedict and can always be relied on to be down for actual Netflix and Chill.
In the business world often your introverted employees are busy being quietly brilliant and can be overshadowed by their fellow extrovert workers. As such, remote working is one of the best ways for an introverted person to shine.
As business leaders heading up the charge in remote positions, how can you make the most of their personality type and talents? There are a few things you need to know first.
What is an introvert?
A lot of times it’s difficult for high-level employees such as managers or presidents to identify introvert personalities because they are extroverts. To prove my point, I did an extensive search on the subject and after a whole 27 seconds on google found that only about 40% of business leaders have introversion. Unfortunately, that is the era we live in. Those who are outspoken, friendly, socially engaging, aka extroverts, are the ones who get promoted. So...what does that mean? Are introverts the opposite of the exciting people at work? Well, kind of, but in the right way.
Introverts are often those who:
Keep to themselves during group discussions board meetings or even just a friendly group gathering.
Usually leave work functions or conventions early
The person(s) not calling attention to themselves in an open office setting. (An introvert's nightmare.)
What makes them so great?
If you need to ask this, then you just might be an extrovert. Part of the beauty of an introvert is their need to analyze and ponder what is being said. As a result, if you do get an answer from them it is almost always well thought out and an excellent contribution to the conversation. While extroverts are walking around problem-solving out loud and saying whatever comes to mind (perfect for brainstorming or annoying deskmates) introverts are busy quietly considering and contemplating. Forbes put it this way: “Introverts have a wealth of natural strengths — they assess situations before acting, they listen to the ideas of others, and they are skilled at taking independent action.”
Being a digital nomad, introverts have a chance to do what they do best. Work independently, free from the stress and distraction of a typical office setting and do so in their comfort zone. With remote work from home, introverts are indeed at their best and will most likely be on of your most significant assets.
Interactions: What do they prefer?
We can probably say with some certainty that as great as face to face video chats are for keeping remote workers up to date and direction clear and understandable, they make the average introvert cringe. However, some video interaction, especially when it’s one-on-one, is definitely a preferred way to introverts to interact.
Furthermore, one thing that introverts love to do is to plan their day’s schedule. An excellent way to compliment that is to try and give them as much instruction ahead of time as possible. Be it a day, a week or a month. That way they can prepare ahead of time and start critically thinking about their work strategies. If you know you will need to speak to them in a Skype video call, let them know ahead of time. It helps to mentally prepare for the interaction and consider questions or comments they may want to make.
Being a team player is one thing that cannot be encouraged enough and don’t be afraid to cheer on introvert members. You won’t offend them. Just remember that significant social interactions will be more natural for the introvert if plenty of notice is given. Afterwards, plan on giving them a few days where their tasks involve little to no social interaction. Introverts (especially in extreme cases) need some time to recharge and gear up for the next situation and will much appreciate the understanding you show.
Types of Introverts
Jaws, Harry Potter, iPhones, E=MC²...what do all these excellent ideas have in common? They were all created by introverts. But did you know there are different types of introverts? For example, J.K. Rowling, the genius behind the wizarding world, initially thought of her famous character on a train but was too shy to ask anyone for a pen to start writing. The characteristic of shyness in public is associated with an anxious introvert.
Inc. gives a quick rundown of all four although it should be noted that people can have a mixture of several kinds rather than just one specifically.
Restrained- This is the type of introvert that does things slowly and deliberately. Simply put they are “slow moving” but not necessarily in a lazy way. They are the type that thinks before they speak and make sure their actions are well thought out.
Social- Don’t let the name fool you. Most introverts avoid crowds like the plague however social introverts migrate towards social situations when only a few close friends are present and while, they can handle a large group, at the end of the day they seek peace and quiet.
Anxious- As explained previously, anxious introverts live up to their namesake. They can be painfully shy in public and often battle with feeling self-conscious of their perceived lack of social skills. They do not like attention drawn to them and embrace the phrase ‘wallflower.'
Thinking- This type of introvert is the more thoughtful kind, hence the name. They can seem withdrawn or lost in their internal world, and they mostly are. They can be surrounded by a gaggle of chatting friends and be in a completely in a different zone. Wellesley psychologist Jonathan Creek described it as “you're capable of getting lost in an internal fantasy world, but it's not in a neurotic way, it's imaginatively and creatively.”
Well worth the effort
When you’re willing to understand how to have effective communication with your employees you’re already paving the way to be successful. But when you go the extra mile to understand specific types of needs of your employees, especially digital ones, then you’re going to be harvesting the fruits of your labor for a long time to come. Introverts can bring peace to an otherwise chaotic business world and sometimes it’s their calm, quiet demeanor that keeps us all grounded.
If you’re ready for DistantJob to find you your perfect introvert, we’d love to help! Click here to find out more. For questions or comments click here. Distantjob recruits only the best remote workers, and while some may be on the quiet side, we know you'll only get the very best, so get in touch today!