Continuing our series about introverted and extraverted personalities in the workplace, today we’ll be discussing how to effectively manage extraverts. We’ve already covered this topic where it concerns introverted employees (you can read that blog here), where we suggested ideas such as setting boundaries in open-space offices, implementing virtual communication, and allowing time to jot down notes before a meeting begins.
Needless to say, extraverts operate differently from their introverted counterparts, so here are 3 tips for managing your extraverted employees in the office:
Make Room for Discussion
While introverts might prefer virtual communication, extraverts are quite the opposite. Extraverts thrive in collaborative workplaces where they can bounce their ideas off their co-workers and brainstorm solutions to various problems. In fact, extraverts tend to be very passionate and enthusiastic about solving issues in the workplace.
You can use this to your advantage by providing ample time and space for extraverts in the office to discuss their ideas. Many open-space offices provide areas where team members can gather to talk about projects and share ideas. Another idea is to ask your extraverted employees to stay behind after meetings, especially the ones who had a number of ideas to offer. You can use this time as an impromptu brainstorming session where extraverts can vision-cast and go back and forth with like-minded co-workers. The energy in the room will be high, and it’ll give your extraverted employees the space they need to be productive, creative, and energetic.
Show Regular Appreciation
Research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that extroverts weigh external motivational and reward cues more strongly than introverts. Everyone loves to be appreciated in the workplace, but it would seem extraverts are even more so stimulated by public praise. This makes sense, of course. After all, extraverts regularly seek external stimulation.
When they receive praise, it encourages them to continue producing positive results in order to receive further external stimulation (praise) from their manager. That said, showing regular appreciation toward your extraverted employees will help them to succeed while also leading to an increase in productivity.
Encourage the ‘Dimmer Switch’
In the workplace, extraverts and introverts can often clash because of the differences in their personality types. Introverts prefer quiet work spaces where they can work on projects uninterrupted and with little distraction or other external stimulation. Extraverts, on the other hand, thrive on the busy-ness of a fast-paced office, and enjoy interacting with others regularly in order to feel mentally stimulated.
Hence the term “dimmer switch”, coined by author Keith Leavitt, which is essential to employ when extraverts are interacting with introverted employees. The fact of the matter is introverts can struggle with extended periods of highly stimulating interactions (which extraverts tend to love), so in order to avoid tension between employees with very different personality types, it’s important that managers work with extraverts to determine appropriate times to scale back their energy with certain team members, i.e. use the ‘dimmer switch’. This will help you run your team more efficiently while also allowing your team members to build better relationships.
With so many different personality types in the workplace, it’s essential that leaders know how to effectively manage their team. By doing so, you’ll maximise the strengths of your people and make for a more productive environment where your employees are happy, healthy, and glad to be doing their work.
Which of the above strategies will you begin implementing in your workplace this week? What do you currently do to effectively manage your extraverted employees?