Managing Different Personality Types: Introverts and Extroverts
Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures
There are a lot of different personalities, but almost every personality type will typically fall into one of these two categories: introversion and extroversion. This article will take a look at differences between these personality types and how to effectively manage and facilitate teamwork between these two personalities.
People are very different from one another in a variety of ways.
Race, gender, height, and weight are all different ways we can classify ourselves. Personality, however, is one of the more distinctive traits that businesses use to help understand and form cohesive teams within a company.
There are a number of different types of personalities that have been researched, but the two most common temperaments that all the other personalities can be found in are introverts and extroverts.
Let's take a quick look at these two temperaments and how they differ from each other.
Extroverts are gregarious, assertive, and generally seek out excitement. They enjoy human interactions and tend to lean on the talkative side. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups.
An extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. Not that they cannot be happy alone but they will be happier with people around them. They enjoy risk-taking and often show visible leadership abilities. They get energized when people are around and will visibly get bored if they are by themselves. They also tend to think as they speak and not before.
Their demeanor gives others the impression that they are very confident in themselves and have a great self-image which is not necessarily the case.
Introverts, in contrast, are more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable. They are not asocial. However, they tend to have a smaller group of friends relative to extroverts. Introverts tend to be low-key individuals. They are less spontaneous and more passive in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, watching movies, and using computers.
An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people. They, however, tend to enjoy interactions with close friends. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate. An introvert is energized when alone and so will seclude themselves when drained. Introverts tend to think before speaking and only after they can validate what they are about to say.
Managing These Two Personality Types
Extroverts by nature tend to be easy-going, so relax around them and learn to become a master at chit chat. They love to talk about anything and everything. Make sure you get them around other people as often as possible while they are working. Send them on trips to help some of your clients and make sure you give them a team to lead.
They can also play the follower role very well so don't feel pressured to develop them into a leader just yet. When they're ready they will simply take on more leadership and you won't have to give them anything. Be sure to point out to them the importance of paying attention to detail often as this is usually not their strong point.
Introverts are much more detail-oriented and want to be given tasks to do ON THEIR OWN.
Nothing gets your introvert employee more excited than a project that he or she can work on alone and completely be held accountable to. If you need them to travel on business trips make sure to ask them if they would prefer to do the assignment by themselves.
If they request a co-worker you can be guaranteed it will be a very close friend of theirs in the office. They can only tolerate people that understand them and are similar in temperament most of time.
Introverts tend to be very reticent until they produce the desired results so encourage them to give consistent feedback on how their work is coming. They do everything in their minds, including communication, so they will forget to fill you in most of the time.
As a team these two temperaments will balance each other out very nicely. Though they are very different they tend to gravitate ultimately towards the other temperament as this is more fun for them than anything else. Make sure to remember that the extrovert is much bolder and much more talkative. This does not mean that they necessarily are right when making decisions.
The introvert will be more analytical before coming up with decisions which may be too much for the impatient extrovert. Extroverts just want to be doing something, right or wrong.
Introverts are perfectionists and so will prefer to take more time with a project if it means it comes out perfect than risk hitting the deadline and the result is below average. Encourage the introvert to not think too much about every single detail before making a move. This will be relaxing to them and bring out a more jovial side that is hidden in there.
Remind the extrovert that it is okay to actually let other people talk even though they are always right. Being bold and being right are two different things.
The key takeaway here is that personalities matter and managers must manage accordingly. Take some time to assess your team's personality types and you'll be glad you did.
Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.
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