The 7 Work Habits of Highly Effective Introverts
The word introvert is often misused in social media. Judging by the memes, comments, and content of many articles claiming to be about introverts, there are many who confuse the concept of being introverted with other unrelated characteristics.
We will begin by clarifying what introversion does NOT mean.
- Shy or socially phobic
- Having poor interpersonal skills, or non-confrontational
Although the last one might be debatable, anyone possessing an introverted or extroverted personality type can be shy or lack essential communication skills. Should an introvert possesses these characteristics, it is purely coincidental and not part of being an introvert.
Many introverted people are outgoing, while many extroverted people are terrified in social situations. A lot of assumptions about introvertedness are based on how someone may appear in a social setting, or learned through pop psychology.
Introverted people by definition are focused more inwardly than outwardly. They are usually energized by spending time alone, or with a small group of close friends.
Extroverted people are more focused on external stimuli, and are typically energized by spending time in settings with large groups of people such as weddings, nightclubs or sports arenas.
Neither introverted nor extroverted personality types are superior to the other in work ethic, effectiveness, or productivity. In fact, a healthy team environment has a good mix of personality types with each individual working in the area where they excel best.
7 Work Habits of Introverts
Here are 7 Effective Work Habits that you can count on highly introverted people to possess.
When your office building catches fire you will be thankful for the skilled extroverts who immediately rise up to the challenge and implement a quick exit strategy and direct everyone to safety.
On the other hand, when you want to establish a process where nearly every possible scenario has been pondered and thoughtfully addressed ahead of time, this is where the introvert comes to the rescue.
In fact, an introvert was probably the one who organized the fire drill schedule to ensure everyone was prepared to handle sucha a catastrophe in advance.
2. Exhibiting good leadership
Introverts make effective leaders, especially for highly motivated individuals like self-starters.
They will thoroughly train their team to get the job done, while empowering them to work effectively independently. While they are excellent at giving constructive feedback and the occasional nudge, boot camp instructors and cheerleaders they are not.
3. Making (very) few social faux pas
To make a good impression on visiting clients, the go to guys are usually the office extroverts. But this comes at a risk. While extroverts are likely to show your client a good time, they might not make it through the evening without at least one potential contract-killing social gaffe.
Though the introvert might not appear as exciting at first glance, he is less likely to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, since they spend so much time planning what they will say long before they say it.
4. Creating deeper relationships
While extroverts best serve as the company welcome wagon, the introverts will be the ones to form the closer friendships that help keep employees engaged and looking forward to coming to work each day.
It may have been the extroverts that got the new clients on board after all, but the introverts will likely be the ones to strengthen these connections to keep them coming back.
5. Practicing independence
Think of the ubiquitous job interview question:
“How well do you work independently?”
Introverts can accurately answer this one with a resounding, “Excellent!” (Although they are not very likely to speak that loudly.)
Introverted employees excel at working independently, and thinking and feeling independently too. Whether it’s a wave of excitement over a new workplace perk, or spirit-crushing negativity splashing its way through the office, highly introverted employees are less likely than others to have their internal world influenced by the crowd.
They just keep working as if not all that much has happened (with their headphones on, of course).
6. Being low maintenance
Introverted types don’t require many perks, company events, or contests for contentment, and are less likely to participate in them. This doesn’t mean they don’t like you or their job, rather their rewards are more internal.
The inner satisfaction of a completed task, or a job well done is often enough to get them high without all of the hype, and pomp and circumstances.
Introverts still have this in common with extroverts: They still respond favorably to PTO and cash rewards. How they choose to spend their time and money will be completely different.
7. Acting as stubborn as a mule (in a good way).
In case you mistakenly thought introverts are nonconfrontational by default, try asking one to do something after their resources have been exhausted.
Being very aware of their physical and emotional status on nearly every ocassion, introverted people have no problem expressing their limitations. As a result, they are far less likely to overcommit.
Like all relationships, work and elsewhere, understanding the people around you will lead to fewer misunderstandings about everything.
Understanding the habits of introverts and extroverts, and the differences in how they express themselves, goes a long way to facilitate the inner and outer harmony that introverts and extroverts desire, respectively.
Consider which personality type you are and the personality types of those you work with. Determine who is more introverted, and who is more extraverted. Then attempt to understand their actions in light of this information.