Making Space For All Personalities
Let’s face it, when it comes to the workplace there are so many different personalities! It can be hard as a leader to lead a team that is so diverse. And conversely, as someone who has a different personality type, it can be hard to feel comfortable in all workplace situations.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, a leading pioneer in the introvert world.
They shared key tips and personal experiences on what makes someone an introvert and ways that introverts and companies can make space for different personality types.
What is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert? And how do you know which one you fall into more? Many of us have aspects of both in our personalities, but we generally will gravitate towards one side in most situations.
One of the easiest ways to establish where you may fall is to ask yourself the question –
Where do you get your energy from?
In other words, do you get more energy from interacting with people or does that drain you? Do you find that quiet time and being alone makes you ready to take on the day or do your energy levels dip when you aren’t around other people and more stimulation?
Knowing the difference between where your energy comes from and what takes your energy away is a key element in how you will find success in the workplace.
2. Know Yourself And Your Team
If the above questions led you to believe that you are an introvert – that’s fantastic! If you recognize the traits above in some of your team – lean into their strengths!
Knowing is the first step.
Now that you know where your energy comes from and what drains you, it is important that you take active steps to make sure you keep your energy levels charged. Just like a battery – you will need to recharge throughout the day if you are having multiple meetings, zoom calls, etc.
The most effective introverted leaders and influencers are the ones who value and know that it is imperative to have quiet time and to have breaks. – Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler
Allowing yourself to take a break in between meetings is so important. You can schedule meetings so that you have a five to ten-minute break in between your next video call.
It’s the little things like taking small breaks that can make a difference.
With remote work becoming the norm it can be difficult to stay visible to your team when you’re on zoom call after zoom call. Introverts are more likely to need this reassurance from their leaders.
3. Cultivate An Environment Of Inclusion
Perhaps you are in a position to hire or promote people on your team. Are you cultivating an environment of inclusion where all personality types can succeed?
One way to know if you are is to think about your hiring process. Do you rely heavily on whether the person you are interviewing would “fit in here”? Or do you focus more on their skills, abilities, and previous work experience.
When it comes time to promote someone do you focus more on the people who are loudest and show up or do you focus on who has improved, impressed, and succeeded workwise?
How do you expect your team to communicate? Is it always in-person, on video, via phone, or do you allow for emails or apps like Slack?
Making sure that your decisions aren’t introvert/extrovert bias will help you cultivate an environment of inclusion.
Remember, your team and your workplace will be filled with different personality types. The key to success is knowing yourself, leaning into your team’s strengths, and giving everyone the space to speak up and contribute.
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Jennifer’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
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