03 Feb 3 Tips For Working Better With Introverts
For our final blog on expressing identity at work, we’re going to talk about on of the least talked about aspects of identity at work – introverts and extroverts. Lots of stereotypes persist about introverts – that they’re shy, anti-social, and unfriendly. Educating ourselves about our introverted colleagues is an important part of building and inclusive culture. These are our top three tips for working with those quiet colleagues.
They Need Time and Space to Reflect
Many introverts need time to process information. Their brain chemistry makes them more likely to be complex thinkers and planners, but they aren’t often good at forming opinions or plans on the spot. Most introverts also process most effectively on their own, as opposed to in a group. These are important factors to remember when you’re asking your introverted colleagues to provide you with their thoughts, plans, or ideas.
They Work Best On Their Own
Introverts tend to get overstimulated by other people, voices, and distractions. They work most effectively when they have control over their environment – when they can control the level of light, noise, and interruptions. This is a part of how their brains process information. It’s also linked to how introverts process energy. Which brings us to our final point.
They Need Controlled Space and Sound
Introverts gain energy on their own, by themselves. They are drained of energy by interactions with others, as well as by the varying levels of external stimulation in an office setting. Because of this, they need to have some level of control over their work space and the sounds they encounter. If your office introverts are working in an open office setting, they will quickly getting overstimulated, drained, and not be their best.
Not all introverts are the same. It’s important to remember that introversion and extroversion is a spectrum – our best advice is to get to know each individual introvert in your office. This way, you can learn how best to support their needs and help them create the best work environment for them.
Join us in our next blog series where we are talking about generational issues in the office!