We extroverts vary greatly. We can be loud, high energy, interrupt like crazy, and when we speak, we can start in one direction and, by the end of the paragraph, be talking in almost the opposite direction.
While many of the traits we possess are viewed as positives for a work environment, we need to understand that our introverted counterparts may, at times, find us overwhelming.
If you are an introvert, here are three tips that can help you work better with extroverts:
1. Let them verbally process.
I wish I could be as succinct as some of my introverted friends. The reality is that as an extrovert, I process while speaking. It is as I hear the words come out of my mouth that I can evaluate, and even change my mind on the fly. On the other hand, most introverts mean what they say.
When working with an extrovert, pay more attention to their conclusion than to what they were saying initially. The conclusion is where they’ve landed.
You can help them to process verbally by--every once in awhile--repeating or paraphrasing what you heard them say. This often helps them to get clear.
Just remember that you will get your best ideas from your extroverts if you encourage the verbal processing, and give them space to discuss information and ideas before committing to a plan.
As implied, extroverts excel in group work. They need interaction with others. Provide more of that for them, and they will shine.
2. Give non-verbal cues.
Extroverts do respond to non-verbal cues, so be aware of your body language when interacting with an extrovert. For example, you can encourage an extrovert just by leaning in, using positive tones of voice, or smiling more.
3. Give public praise.
Studies show that brains of extroverts are wired differently than introverts. We require more to get stimulated, and we look for more external motivational and reward cues than introverts do.
On the whole, save the criticism for one-on-one times, as negative feedback can often deflate extroverts. But if you praise them for what they do right, you will see them come alive, increase productivity and be more successful. This is especially true if the praise is given in front of co-workers.
Chew On This:
- What will you do to help the extroverts on your team succeed?
Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.