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Traditionally, recruitment decisions tended to favour extroverts – they express themselves confidently and perform well verbally when under pressure. In contrast, introverts often require more time to think and process information before sharing ideas. However, at Halliday Marx we know that both personality types bring a great deal to the table when it comes to leadership and collaboration in the workplace.
To help make sure you hire the right candidate for the job, we have put together some prime reasons why introverts should be considered, and what can be done to get the most out of these team members.
With the recent pandemic, the ability to remain focused and undistracted is a valuable skill, and this is often something introverts do well. In addition, they are able to think strategically and assess complex ideas, which tends to make them excellent at providing solutions to complex issues.
Introverts may not be the first to throw a suggestion out to the floor, but because they are naturally more comfortable listening, they tend to think more about what someone is saying and use that to influence their input. This is a useful skill for bringing senior leadership teams on board with potential strategies.
When we think of leaders we tend to picture those who are outwardly vivacious, but being on the more reserved side should not be viewed as a barrier to great leadership. There are plenty of strong leaders who we might classify as leaning towards a more introverted style of leadership (Bill Gates, Marissa Mayer, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Wozniak).
Another successful trait is that introverts are often excellent at picking up on emotional cues, and whilst it may take a little longer to build professional relationships, introverts typically form deep connections with their colleagues, teams and clients. This generates trust and respect in the workplace, which in turn, encourages others to listen and consider ideas.
“Our more introverted candidates have performed exceptionally throughout the recent crisis, consistently fine-tuned to the needs of their teams without getting side-tracked by chaos and ever-changing priorities – this level-headed demeanour has served them well in their ability to lead,” added John Marx, Co-Founder, Halliday Marx.
Decision making and assessing complex ideas has been a critical skill over the last ten months. Since introverts have an excellent capacity for making sense of abstract ideas and prefer to process information privately before they speak or act, their decisions and solutions are typically thorough and innovative.
“Introverts naturally think things through quietly before openly discussing ideas, and have less reliance on others when it comes to assessing options and making decisions. This style of problem solving generates informed decisions that consider different angles and outcomes,” added Andy Halliday, Co-Founder, Halliday Marx.
Introverts rarely act on impulse, and this has proved to be valuable during recent months.
Clients who have successfully hired introverts suggest that the key to getting the most out of their strengths is to cultivate an environment that allows employees to be themselves and work in the way that suits their personality. Here are some key tips…..
Introverts can be reserved in large group settings and easily flustered when put on the spot. To make sure you capture their ideas, it is essential you offer multiple forms of communication; Instant Messenger, texting, document sharing platforms are all great ways to provide quieter team members the ability to speak up in their own time.
“Introverts are also more likely to speak up in meetings if there is a natural break, remind everyone not to interrupt and encourage introverts to provide their input,” added John Marx.
Many introverts feel more comfortable going solo and without distractions when doing their thinking. Private workspaces or cubicles are preferable to open floor plans, and with the majority of employees now working from home, conversations in quieter environments are easing some of the issues surrounding quiet vs. energetic workspaces. If possible, it is worth considering more permanent work from home arrangements for employees who are more productive operating solo.
“There are lots of simple tips for helping individuals create the most effective work environment for their personal style; several of our candidates make the most of flexible working hours to avoid busy times, and when in the office, they prefer to work with headphones to help reduce distractions,” added Andy Halliday.
It is important to stress that introverts do need and enjoy interaction – they like to bounce ideas off others. It is simply that their approach to situations requires different needs. For example, traditional meetings can be intimidating or unproductive for people who like to reflect and process information before providing ideas. Introverts are planners, and allowing employees time to plan ahead will make way for more productive, collaborative meetings where everyone’s skills can be fully utilised.
Both extroverts and introverts have essential qualities and are critical for success in any business environment. It is also rarely the case that people are entirely one style, most employees will have a little of both personality types. When it comes to recruitment, it is wise to remember that regardless of individual style, selecting the right person with the right attributes for the role is what it’s all about!
Need support with your hiring needs? Call us on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]. Let’s start the conversation.
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