Introvert vs. Extrovert Personality Traits

How to work with an introvert vs extrovert person at work

Among the employees on your team, each person will vary in his or her desire for sociality, but in general, you can categorize people into one camp or the other: Introverts vs. extroverts. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two types, including how they prefer to work, communicate and use their time, and explore why you need both introverts and extroverts in the workplace.

What is an introvert?

An introverted person is a quiet, reserved individual who directs their own interests toward themselves rather than others. Introverts generally keep to themselves and are not likely to make many, if any, overt gestures to meet new people on their own. An introvert is usually not a risk taker and would not be very comfortable, for example, making cold calls in sales.

What are the characteristics of an introvert?

In general, introverts show the following characteristics:

  • They tend not to like conflict and avoid it if they can
  • They enjoy solitary tasks and assignments rather than team projects
  • They prefer to focus on one thing at a time
  • They prefer working in quiet environments.

How to work with an introvert

Introverts are often hard-working and seriously focused on their tasks, especially if they’re given the opportunity to work alone in an independent environment. In the workplace, introverts are interested in serious information rather than chit-chat or small talk, which distracts them from their work, so it’s a good idea to “get to the point” when you talk with introverts.

How to train an introvert
  • When given new information, introverts may not have immediate questions. They often need time to think about problems and how to solve them. Don’t assume that just because they don’t have questions right away that they’re not listening!
  • Employees with an introverted personality tend to like writing down concepts and ideas and engage in critical thinking, so give them time and ways to do just that.
  • Self-guided, online training can be highly effective for introverts as long as the content is focused, has substance and is relevant.
How to motivate an introvert
  • Since introverts tend to like to work alone in a quiet place, find ways to provide this type of environment
  • Provide them with a predictable, structured work schedule and timeline for projects
  • Look for ways to let him/her structure their workday as they see fit – for instance, keeping meetings at a minimum and allowing for uninterrupted work time in the morning or afternoon for better concentration.
How to give feedback to an introvert
  • Introverts are often not comfortable getting praise or criticism in public, so it’s better to sit down one-on-one for a discussion, listen to their in-depth ideas and/or put your comments and suggestions for them in writing
  • Encourage them to share their thoughts – whether in discussion or in writing – and provide a way and space for them to be comfortable
  • Schedule one-on-one time for discussion in advance and give them a clear idea of what you’d like to talk about so that he or she has plenty of time to formulate their ideas.
What is the opposite of an introvert?

The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert. While introverts like quiet, solitary environments and time to think about ideas, extroverts prefer talking with people, social contact and working in teams.

What is an extrovert?

In general, an extrovert is someone who is very social, gregarious, outgoing and interested in taking the initiative to meet new people in business and social situations. In the workplace, extroverts will not keep much to themselves in terms of what is on their mind and will enjoy being the center of attention.

What are the characteristics of an extrovert?
  • They like to be in active, social environments and are comfortable talking with and to a wide range of people
  • They are known for being enthusiastic, friendly and persuasive
  • They like team projects and group activities.

How to work with an extrovert

Learning how to work with an extrovert can benefit your business in many ways. In general, extroverts are social and like to work with other people, rather than alone, so they tend to do well in team environments. They also tend to dive into projects right away, while introverts may need more time to think about how to tackle what’s in front of them.

How to train an extrovert
  • Extroverts generally prefer to talk through things rather than think through them, so in training, it’s a good idea to allow plenty of time for questions and discussion when presenting new ideas
  • Group training is often highly effective for extroverts, who enjoy team discussions and learning projects.
How to motivate an extrovert
  • Extroverts like sharing their thoughts and feelings, so ask them their opinions, how they think things are going, where they see areas for improvement, etc.
  • Extroverts like to be in charge, so giving them the chance to lead a team or project is a great way to show appreciation for a job well done
  • Extroverts like variety, so give them a chance to mix things up and take on different types of projects and tasks.
How to give feedback to an extrovert
  • Extroverts like getting positive verbal feedback (especially getting praise in public!) and to discuss how things are going
  • Set up regular times to talk through things with them rather than just write out notes or give feedback in emails.

Which is a better worker: Introvert vs. Extrovert?

When it comes to introverts vs. extroverts in the workplace, one type isn’t “better” than another – it all depends on the job you need the person to do and the traits you identify as necessary for success in a particular role. Hire Success can provide insights into each job candidate/current employee you have and help you determine the traits you need.

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