Are you an introvert or an extrovert (hint: if you’re not sure, take this quiz)? Introverts are perceived to be quiet, introspective, and less sociable, while an extrovert may be assertive, outgoing and concerned with external stimuli. While these personality types are vastly different — in fact, they’re polar opposites — each has its own place in an office.
The fact is, when it comes to working with others or managing a team, there is no one-size-fits-all communication style. Introverts and extroverts both require different approaches and contribute different skills.
What they prefer: An introvert may prefer to spend time reflecting on decisions or judgments; may like to think a bit before responding with thoughts or ideas; prefers a quiet workplace; and may prefer more direct, “to the point” communication rather than chatter.
How to communicate: An introvert will appreciate communication in writing, giving them more time to think about information and reflect. Give an introvert more time to examine and information-gather rather than pushing them to “catch up” with the extroverts. Allow an introvert opportunities to work by themselves on projects, if possible.
What they contribute: An introvert will be great at paying attention to details and really thinking about a problem. They will think through and reflect on any assignment or project they are given to come up with the best possible solution.
What they prefer: An extrovert is much more verbal with their emotions and ideas and are the first to volunteer them; enjoy group office gatherings and social workspaces; welcome more roundabout communication; and prefers to brainstorm in a group rather than make decisions introspectively.
How to communicate: Give an extrovert opportunities to volunteer their ideas and opinions. Encourage an extrovert’s “go go go” mentality and allow them to move with ideas as they develop. Allow extroverts to work in teams and brainstorm.
What they contribute: An extrovert has undeniable energy and enthusiasm that is motivating to others in the workplace. Their sociable, fast-paced work style will encourage creativity and keep people ahead of schedule.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What are some other skills of these personality types?