Every work team is made up of different personalities and the best businesses know how to engage with all of them. Introverts have a number of qualities that attribute to a balanced workplace – they’re often good listeners, thoughtful, independent, and contemplative. They can be perceived as passive, though, and often don’t engage with coworkers or in meetings the way extroverts or other employees might. Here are some ways to make sure you’re including introverts in your business conversations.
- Remember digital space: Introvert isn’t synonymous with shy or anxious. Introverts are energized by time alone and feel depleted by large groups of people, making it harder for them to engage in common business situations like conference meetings. Making space for introverts to join the conversation can look like following up with meeting attendees after the meeting and requesting feedback.
- Create recharge spaces: Introverts may find the very act of being in a busy workplace draining, so it can be beneficial for employers to provide quiet spaces for employees to take a break and recharge so they can feel more energized during times of collaboration.
- Look for other signs of engagement: Introverts might not engage best by leading group conversations and brainstorms. They might feel more comfortable in one on one conversations or get more thinking done by taking notes or sketching. If you’re concerned that your introverted employees aren’t as engaged in their work, make sure to look for and encourage signs besides outward collaboration.
Introverts are valuable members of every work team. Learning how to better relate to and encourage them will help them feel more included and result in higher employee engagement. A little planning on the employer’s part can go a long way towards fostering the kind of workspace where everyone can thrive.
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