Within any workplace, there are countless different personalities sat at their office desks. Some people are shy, some are reserved, some people are loud and brash, others have a tendency to change like the wind. As a manager, if you can get the most out of each personality type, you’re on the fast track towards business success.
Of course, before you can figure out how to get the most out of your staff, you need to really understand about the specific types of people within your workforce, and you need to understand how they can work together effectively. If you can do this, you’ll not only create a harmonious working environment, ensuring morale is high, but you’ll also ensure that productivity is on the rise as a result.
Over a series of articles, we’re really going to highlight the different types of personalities you might have in your workplace, mainly introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts. This should help you understand each type better, but in this chat, we’re going to talk about how introverts and extroverts are actually a great team. We’re also going highlight how you can create the best office space for collaboration to occur.
You might think this is ridiculous, after all, these two personality types are polar opposites. That’s true, but they can actually bring out the best in each other when encouraged to do so in the right way.
First things first, what do these terms mean?
- An introvert is someone who is quieter, more about thinking and listening
- An extrovert is someone who is more vocal, more about talking and sharing
In the middle of that, we have ambiverts, which are a combination of both types.
Introversion and extroversion has nothing to do with confidence much of the time. An introverted person isn’t necessarily shy and lacking in confidence, they simply go about their work in a quieter way, and don’t feel the need to be so vocal. Similarly, an extrovert isn’t necessarily overconfident and arrogant, they are just hard-wired to be a little more vocal in general.
How do Introverts And Extroverts Compliment Each Other?
Sometimes this combination can be a disaster, but this is often when you have a brash person and a shy person, and they simply don’t gel. Within your workplace, the hope is that wont be the case. Introverts and extroverts create a great team when you have an even mix of the two types. When working in collaborative workspaces, these two personality types can create many ideas.
For instance, the introvert will observe and think deeply before vocalising an idea. This means they are absorbing everything they’re hearing and coming up with a solution to a problem which is very carefully considered. The extrovert is likely to brainstorm vocally, i.e. say the things which pop into their mind at the moment they arrive. This helps the introvert to piece together information and come up with solutions by listening. The energy of the extrovert is also likely to be a bonding mechanism between the group.
Put simply, the extrovert gives the introvert a different take on an issue, and the introvert gives the extrovert a deeper method of thinking. They compliment each other because one what lacks, the other gives, and vice versa. In this case, the team you create is the whole package, with nothing missing.
How to Encourage Introvert & Extrovert Teams
If you want to form teams of both introverts and extroverts together, you need to give both sides what they need. For instance, an introvert will need space and time alone, to be able to process their thoughts and not to be overwhelmed by the vocal nature of an extrovert. Similarly, the extrovert will need to have a space where they can express themselves and their ideas freely, without feeling like they’re disturbing others.
Much of this comes down to effective space planning. If you can get this part of the deal right, you’ll easily give everyone the space they need, and the results will be impressive.
A good option for introverts is the implementation of quiet zones within the office. This means that whenever they feel they need space and time to think and study, an introvert can go to this zone. For the extroverts, bench desks are a great idea. These desks allow several people to sit together and brainstorm ideas, without having to worry about disturbing the quiet work of someone else.
When everyone needs to come together and share ideas and talk about the project at hand, you could think about utilising the conference room, or you could have integrated desks, so everyone can work and share ideas at the same time. It’s really about what works best for your employees, whilst giving everyone the right environment to express themselves in their own way.