I was a motivational speaker for a group of teachers. The other guest speaker did a compelling motivational speech on how extrovert rule society. Since, I have been contemplating the value of introverts in the workplace and how to help them succeed.
Here are some ways to help introverts succeed:
- Extroverts should be encouraged to spend more time bragging about there introverted colleagues and less time bragging about themselves.
- Leaders need to spend time recognizing the hard work that introverts do and help balance an introverts workload to allow time for withdrawl.
- Most recognition programs feature public recognition, which introverts may shrink in the face of. Introverts may prefer a personalized thank you note to public ceremony.
- Some meetings ( heavy social stimulation, which may drain an introvert) may not be necessary or possibly could be accomplished through email or other media.
- In social situations, give introverts "tasks" ( for example at a conference, they could set up or do product demos) to help them stay busy.
- Since introverts need time to compose their thoughts before sharing them, never put them on the spot, give them time to prepare.
- Introverts usually prefer writing to talking, so value their written words.
- For introverts let their work speak for itself. Notice and appreciate results without putting an introvert in the spotlight but recognize them with more meaningful work that they like.
- Introverts prefer strong, meaningful relationships versus having to be in the face of everyone on the team at all times.
- Highlight introverted role models. Is your CEO an introvert? Let him share his story and show his courage.
- Facilitate open dialogue between introverts. Similar to an example the guest speaker gave in her motivational speech; my mother is an introvert and she loves quilting. She opens up and naturally becomes more extroverted in her quilting circles and with her quilting friends ( often also introverts). Similarily, often a subculture emerges in a workplace that allows like minded people to engage.
Motivational speaker for teachers, see our resources here