The Myers-Briggs model for introversion involves a tendency to derive energy from time spent alone and time spent around other people may be experienced as emotionally or psychologically draining. These individuals tend to be sensitive to their environments and may even report being easily “over-stimulated” by a number of sounds, smells, colors and interactions taking place around them.
So imagine what it must be like to attend training as an introvert. In a TED talk, Susan Cain, founder of Quiet Revolution, made the case that most workplaces are, “designed mostly for extroverts and their need for lots of stimulation.” Cain also highlighted how introverts are highly talented individuals with a very different set of characteristics. If you work with an introverted person, you’re going to have to ask specific questions to fully understand what takeaways introverts can gain from training.
How can you accommodate both your introverts and extroverts during training? Start with these two simple questions:
Where do you go to do your best work?
Research from Steelcase conducted with a global sample of 12,480 employees across 17 countries shows when workers have control over where and how they work and are free to choose a space to fit their task at hand—either focused work or collaborative work—they are 88% more engaged at work. Be sure, during training, you have enough quiet space for introverts to move into during times when independent tasks are assigned.
Where do you go to recharge?
Joe McHugh, vice president of executive services of Right Management Consultants, explains how introversion seems to increase with intelligence (more than 75% of people with an IQ above 160 are introverted). It is important to know where introverts go to take a break and reflect on their tasks. Introverts tend to pause before action and are characteristically sure and steady. This pause, often mistaken for hesitation, gives them time to study and analyze situations so the actions taken make the most sense in the long run.
Asking these questions before training can lay the groundwork to establishing a deep and fulfilling professional relationship with introverts, and ensure they are at their best when taking part in training. Celebrate your introverted employees – they are hard-wired for excellence in whatever department they choose at work.