By some estimates, about one in every four people is an introvert. Introverts build up their energy stores with alone time, and they expend energy when they interact with people.
Introverts aren’t always “loners.” Most need and even enjoy social interaction; they simply approach it differently due to its demands on their mental and physical energy.
Because introverts approach alone time versus social time differently, they often have a valuable perspective for business teams. This perspective may get lost, however, if co-workers and leaders overlook it. Here are three reasons it’s important to hear from your introverted employees.
1. They’ve often thought through the issue.
Because introverts recharge with alone time, they tend to spend more of their day mulling over events, thinking through problems and imagining potential solutions. Whereas extroverted employees may leave work only to jump into family time, hobbies or other social events, introverts are more likely to go home and think about their day as they prepare dinner or walk the dog.
As a result, an introvert’s insights can be profound, supported by the time necessary to think through a problem. Introverts can often suggest solutions or perspectives that incorporate a wide range of factors, which can help the team produce a better solution.
2. They’re sensitive to the emotional “energy” on the team.
Introverts spend energy on social interactions, rather than gaining energy from social interactions. As a result, they tend to be highly aware of where the flow of emotional energy in a group of people is headed at any given moment.
This awareness often informs an introvert’s input in a team setting, as well. For instance, an introvert who notices that the team doesn’t like a particular plan or policy may have suggestions for generating buy-in as well as for how to make the new plan or policy work.
3. They need to know they’re valued – just the way they are.
Managers who ask for their introverted team members’ input communicate that even though these team members aren’t as outspoken as their extroverted colleagues, they’re still an equal part of the team. Their perspective is important and their work is valued.
Communicating the importance of each team member is a must for building cohesive teams and reducing turnover. Workers who don’t feel appreciated will seek an employer who embraces their unique perspective; workers who do feel appreciated, however, are more likely to stay on the team.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our Twin Cities recruiters know how to find qualified candidates and match them with our clients’ needs and internal cultures. To learn more, contact us today.