Managing Extroverts and Introverts: How to Manage Different Styles

Managing extroverts and introverts can present varying challenges.

Extroverts and introverts possess different strengths in the workplace. While they both have their specialties, they also present varying challenges to managers.

It can be tough to know how to manage different styles. Before you jump to conclusions, it’s important to educate yourself on the traits of each personality type. Check out these tips for managing extroverts and introverts:

Extroverts:

What they’re like:

Extroverts tend to be friends — or, at least, sociable — with nearly everyone around them. They get their energy from human interaction, so an “open office” design tends to contribute to their enthusiasm and energy levels. With strengths in collaboration and striking up conversations, extroverts are often seen as more outgoing than introverts. Yet, despite their ability to work on several projects at a time, they can get burned out more easily or even come across as aggressive. If a client is looking for a strictly business relationship, perhaps an extrovert would need to tone down the social level.

How to Manage:

It can be a challenge for managers to keep extroverts focused on the task at hand. For that reason, it’s critical to keep extroverts on track while still encouraging their enthusiasm and excitement. Even if they do tend to stray away from their assignment, excluding them from distractions might not be the answer, either. Extroverts feed off other people for energy, so leaving them in their element could yield the best results. If they do something that deserves recognition, don’t be afraid to compliment them in front of a group. Some extroverts can be exhausting for introverts to be around, but it’s important to relax around them and acknowledge their need to chit-chat.

Introverts:

What they’re like:

Introverts, on the other hand, may come across as shy, reserved or antisocial. While that may be true to an extent, they simply perform their work in a different manner. Introverts are able to understand different points of view without becoming emotionally involved, and tend to be very focused on the tasks they’re assigned. For that reason, introverts are seen as diplomats and are able to think analytically about solving problems. Working alongside others for an entire day isn’t the most appealing to them. Introverts favor a workplace that allows them to work alone for a significant portion of time so they can focus on their work without distraction.

How to Manage:

It’s unfair to assume introverts are always short on ideas when they’re quiet. Rather, introverts might be less forthcoming or less willing to voice their ideas and opinions in front of others. Try asking an introvert before a meeting or after a presentation if they have anything else to add to a discussion, but don’t necessarily call them out in public. Even if you’re appreciative of their work, they don’t always enjoy the extra attention. A simple email or comment directly to them may be the more suitable answer. Allow them time to think and don’t demand instant answers. Instead of asking them to complete a project with a coworker, think about giving them a project to complete on their own.

Both extroverts and introverts are valuable in the workplace. If you’re looking to find a valuable addition to your company, Celarity can help. Our professionals have been placing candidates in the Twin Cities area since 1993 and have the experience and expertise to get you on track. Contact us today to learn more or browse our talent!

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