Introverts. Those quiet, shy people who when spoken to, turn red and look down. They like to work on their own and after a team meeting, look so tired you’d swear they need a nap. When you talk to them, the most extroverted of the introverts will look at your shoes vs. their own. On project teams, you wonder if there’s a personality conflict that makes them so quiet. So why would you hire an introvert in the first place?
Because, they’re smart and bring balance to your team!
I’ve worked for some very dynamic teams where most of the members are confident and somewhat outspoken. Meetings could turn quickly into elevated voices trying to talk over one another. Conversations spiral and I spent more time getting what people are saying aligned than getting work done. Most of the time, everyone is saying the same thing, just a different way!
In walks the introvert. A smart, quiet team member who is no less dedicated to the project’s success than anyone else. They’re great listeners who can process a lot of information and put pieces together. Because they listen to understand vs. respond, when they do talk, you know they have something to say. Their ability to understand problems (because they listen) and come up with creative ideas and solutions helps teams get over bumps in the road quickly. When emotions run high in a meeting, they’re calm as can be. Without this type of person, my job would be a lot harder!
Next time you’re putting a team together or interviewing a candidate, don’t think twice about giving the quiet, shy people a good look. By not considering them, you may be missing out on some top talent. An introvert can bring a great balance to your energetic team.