A lot has been written about introverts in the past few years, and yet there are still many misperceptions floating around. Many people are still quick to assume that an introvert is the socially awkward person hiding in the corner or behind their computer screen. And for this reason, many of the quieter voices often go unheard in the office or on the job site.
This is a big mistake.
In order for your company to thrive, you need to be leveraging all of the great thinking and talent that your team has to offer. By ignoring the introverts, you are essentially cutting your potential in half – and I don’t have to tell you what that could mean for your bottom line.
By dispelling some of the greatest (mis)beliefs about introverts, you can effectively utilize the full potential of your company, and help set up each employee for personal and professional success.
Myth #1: Introverts Are Shy
The difference between introverts and extroverts is all about where each individual replenishes their energy. Extroverts, for example, are revitalized by spending time surrounded by large groups of people with a lot of external stimuli. Introverts, on the other hand, have their energy recharged in calmer situations, either on their own or with a small, intimate group of people.
Many introverts are very personable and are happy to go out and spend time with friends and colleagues. That being said, in loud and crowded situations, introverts can quickly become overwhelmed and overshadowed. In a work environment, it is your responsibility to provide encouragement and make sure that all voices are heard – not just the ones that are the loudest.
Myth #2: Introverts Don’t Work Well with Others
There is a common misperception that introverts don’t like people, and – as a result – won’t fare well in group settings. This is also not true, although introverts do tend to shine the brightest when they are in smaller groups. Depending on the particular project, it is best to allow introverts ample time to work on their own before bringing their thoughts and contributions to the full team.
Myth #3: Introverts Aren’t Good at Taking Charge
It is ridiculous to think that the only good leaders are the outspoken and boisterous extroverts. Leadership styles can be very different, and what works best for your particular company will depend on your team, projects, and clients.
Introverts have many qualities that could arguably make them better leaders or managers than extroverts. For one, introverts tend to be excellent listeners, which helps them to build strong relationships with individuals. Another common trait is high emotional IQ, which means that introverts can generally read social dynamics and better identify individual opportunities. And finally, managers who are introverted often do a good job of empowering individuals to work independently, which can increase overall productivity.
Setting Introverts Up for Success
Like any industry, construction companies need their share of introverts in order to do their best work. These individuals tend to be excellent planners and frequently bring unique insight to the table. Do yourself a favor and make sure that they aren’t being overshadowed by others.