Don’t leave the introverts on your team feeling uninspired and overwhelmed. Take these steps to create an environment where they can thrive:
Encourage all types of communication. Introverts may prefer to gather their thoughts and reply in a thoughtful email over hashing it out in person. Accept that, however, also create opportunities for them to connect in person, for example, during brainstorming sessions.
Find ways for them to share their ideas. Extroverts may jump at the chance to present to the group and take the lead during meetings. Introverts not so much, so don’t force it on them. Allow employees to share their ideas with you one on one or to submit their plans in writing too.
Don’t judge or punish them for skipping out on social events. It may not be in their nature to visit crowded restaurants or join the company kickball team. If they choose not to participate, don’t make them feel like they’re missing out.
Trust that they know what’s good for them. As long as they’re productive and hitting their goals, let them do what works best for them at work. You don’t need to “bring them out of their shell.”
— Adapted from “Tips for Creating an Introvert-Friendly Workplace,” Sarah White, CIO, www.cio.com.