Most companies reward extroverts. They think that these folks are the ones who speak up at meetings, are outgoing and as a result get more things done.
But not so fast...
Extroverts, if we use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, are people who like a lot of sensory stimulation and get energized by being around people. Introverts, not to be confused with shy folks, prefer less stimulation and gain physical energy by being alone and uninterupted.
Do you know which you are? I'm from a long line of introverts. My dad and brothers are introverts and we each find great joy in alone time. We like people a lot but find big social events exhausting. My wife is an extrovert and always likes to think of social events and get togethers. The point is that both introverts and extroverts are "good" and we need a healthy balance of both to make a great team.
Now look at your own team. You may be the mom and are looking at the "team" of your family. You may be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and are considering your senior executive team. You may be a manager of a small office. Each of us has a team and can pay special attention to the introverts in our midst.
I suggest three ways that you can help the introverts on your team get things done with more efficiency:
1. Prepare meeting agendas in advance. Introverts like to ponder things ahead of time.
2. Do what you can to create a workspace that honors privacy. This will vary from company to company.
3. Stop interrupting them. Imagine a workplace that encouraged time for folks to think without being interrupted?
You know that there are introverts on your own team. The question is, how are you helping them get more done?