My name is David and I'm am am an introvert.
Survey research varies but at least 25% of the population identifies itself along with me.
I’m still remember the session at MIT where we were getting ready to take the Myers-Briggs when the instructor was explaining the Introvert/Extrovert characteristics: Are you the kind of person at a cocktail party who hangs around at the edges & observes? Or do you immediately move right to the center of the room & engage in conversation with those around you? & I'm am sat there thinking to myself; Iâm not even at that cocktail party. Iâm home reading a novel!
Marti Olsen Laney, a librarian turned psychologist, in her book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert Worldwide, lists what extroverted employees should know about their introvert colleagues. We:
- Â Like quiet for concentration
- Â Care about our work & workplace
- Â May have trouble communicating
- Â May know more than we reveal
- Â May seem quiet & aloof
- Need to be asked for our opinions & ideas
- Like to work on long complex problems and have good attention to detail
- Need to understand exactly why we are doing something
- Dislike intrusions & interruptions
- Need to think & reflect before speaking & acting
- Work alone contentedly
- May be reluctant to delegate
- Prefer to stay in the office or cubicle rather than socialize
- Do not like to draw attention to ourselves
- Work well with little supervision
- May have trouble remembering names and faces
Of course, not everything on the list applies to every introvert, but you get the message. Give us space, time, & respect! Memo to extroverts: take an introvert to lunchâbut donât do all the talking!