This disconnect can cause issues and miscommunications among the two groups. However, it’s important for colleagues to get along. Introverts and extroverts, despite their differences, can still establish a supportive, healthy work relationship. Here’s how to work with and manage both types of people.
How to work with an introvert
Provide an agenda in advance.
Introverts like organization and preparation. Sometimes all it takes is giving advance notice for events and projects, and sticking with a schedule to ease their anxiety.
For instance, if there’s a meeting or event, send details ahead of time so they aren’t going in blind, said Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of “Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference” They’ll feel more comfortable and appreciate your consideration.
Because introverts prefer one-on-one conversations over group meetings, it’s beneficial to host some chats online to avoid unnecessary stress.
“Go electronic [with idea-sharing],” said Lew. “Recently, we have seen a spike in crowdsourcing. This type of idea-sharing allows for introverts to provide their thoughts in a setting that is suited for their social abilities. Organizations have seen significant and meaningful contributions through this method.”
Don’t expect introverts to jump out of their comfort zone to share their ideas right off the bat. It takes time for them to articulate their thoughts and warm up to the group.
“When discussing projects [with] introverts, you are not going to get lots of verbal feedback,” said Tim Backes, chief editor of Source Resume. “That doesn’t mean they aren’t listening or that they have nothing to say. An introvert prefers to take some time to process information and respond in a way that’s most comfortable for them, such as via a well-written email.”