The word introverted gets a lot of social media buzz; sometimes declared a positive thing, other times not so much.

Judging by the memes, comments, and even the content of some articles on the subject there are many who do not fully grasp its definition.

So let’s start off by clarifying what introversion does NOT mean.

  • Shy or socially phobic
  • Having poor interpersonal skills
  • Non-confrontational

Anyone, whether possessing an introverted or extroverted personality type can be shy or lack essential communication skills. These characteristics are unrelated to introversion. Many introverted people are outgoing, while many extroverted people are phobic in social situations. A lot of assumptions about introvertedness are based on how people appear in a social settings, and learned through pop psychology.

Introverted people by definition are focused more inwardly than outwardly. They are often energized by spending time alone, or with a small group of close friends. Extroverted people are more focused on external stimuli, and are typically energized by spending time in settings with large groups of people such as weddings, nightclubs or sporting events.

Neither introverted nor extroverted personality types are superior to the other in work ethic, effectiveness, or productivity. In fact, a healthy team environment has a good mix of personality types with each individual working in the area where they excel best.

Here are 7 Effective Work Habits that you can count on highly introverted people to possess.

1. Planning

When your office building catches fire you will be thankful for the skilled extroverts who immediately rise up to implement the exit strategy and safely direct people out of the building.

On the other hand, when you want to establish a process where nearly every possible scenario has been pondered and thoughtfully addressed ahead of time, this is where the introvert comes to the rescue. In fact, an introvert was probably the one who organized the fire drill schedule so that everyone was prepared to handle this catastrophe in advance.

An illustration of how introverts process information:

Introvert Planning

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2. Exhibiting good leadership

Introverts make effective leaders, especially for self-starters and already motivated individuals. They will thoroughly train your new hires to get the job done, while also empowering them to work effectively. Independently. While they are quite good at giving constructive feedback and the occasional nudge, boot camp instructors and cheerleaders they are not.

3. Making (very) few social faux pas

To make a good impression on new clients, the go to guys are usually the office extroverts. They are sure to show your client a good time, provided they can get through the evening without the contract-killing social gaffe.

Though the introvert might not appear as exciting at first glance, he is less likely to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, since they spend so much time planning what they say before they say it.

4. Creating deeper relationships


While extroverts best serve as the company welcome wagon, the introverts will be the ones to form the closer friendships that help keep employees engaged and looking forward to coming to work each day.

It may have been the extroverts that got the new clients on board after all, but the introverts will likely be the ones to strengthen these connections to keep them coming back for more.

5. Practicing independence

“How well do you work independently?”

Introverts can answer this common interview question with a resounding, “Excellent!” (should they choose to speak that loudly).

Introverted employees excel not only at working independently, but at thinking and feeling independently as well. Whether it’s a wave of excitement or crushing negativity splashing its way through the office, highly introverted individuals are less likely than others to have their internal world influenced by the crowd. They will just keep working away (with their headphones on, of course).

6. Being low maintenance

Introverted types don’t require many perks, company events, or contests for contentment. They are actually less likely to participate in them.

The inner satisfaction of a completed task or a job well done is usually enough to get them high without all of the hype. Like the rest of us, they still respond favorably to paid time off and cash rewards.

7. Acting as stubborn as a mule (in a good way).

In case you mistakenly thought introverts are nonconfrontational by default, try asking one to do something after their resources have been exhausted.

Being very aware of their physical and emotional state at any given time, introverted people have no problem expressing their limitations. As a result, they are far less likely to overcommit.


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By | January 19th, 2017|Company Culture|

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