My tip for this week is…introverted or extroverted?
Today’s tip is about getting back to basics. With many teams working remotely, perhaps for the first time, it’s important to focus on the needs of each individual member of the team.
And, a great starting place is understanding whether they are more introverted or extroverted.
Introvert or extrovert isn’t whether someone is shy or outgoing. Very simply, it is a spectrum that relates to where we draw our energy from.
Extroverts (or those with extroverted tendencies) draw their energy from people and will find their energy is depleted or sapped when they spend too much time alone. They feel recharged by being social and being with people.
Those with introverted tendencies tend to recharge by spending time alone.
Extroverts need to talk through scenarios and talk through problems, issues and solutions. An introvert will prefer to work through it on their own first.
Everyone of your team members is going to respond to working from home differently. But, to get the best out of everyone in this situation, having a little awareness of the energy needs of your team will help.
For the extroverts in your team, ensure you allow time for them to talk things out and explore options. Check in on how they are going – having the space and time to talk will energise them. As one extrovert commented to me this week:
“The poor person at the checkout at the supermarket today. After working home alone all day, they were the first person I saw, and I couldn’t stop talking”.
If you have people in your team that lean more towards the introvert spectrum, respect their need for privacy. Give them time to think and don’t put them on the spot expecting immediate answers. Give them a heads up if you want them to contribute on a group call or meeting. And, while you may not need to reach out and connect as often to keep them energised, you will still need to reach out and check they are OK. A more introverted employee may not proactively reach out to ask for help but will respond if you check in and ask.
It’s worth keeping in mind that many people default back to their own natural style and tendencies when communicating and working with others, particularly under times of stress.
So, rather than defaulting to your natural style, take the time to understand the needs of your team members, be deliberate in your approach and adjust your style to support their individual needs.