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How to build a relationship with an introvert in the workplace

There are all types of personalities in the world. The words shy, bubbly, quiet, and gregarious could describe anyone and everyone. However, there are two types that don’t seem to be talked about very often – introverts and extroverts. Both of these are alive and well in the workplace. With more and more companies moving to an open office model, introverts might find it difficult to work in this environment.

Introverts like to have quiet time to recharge during the day.
Peter Kirillov/

Introverted people are not necessarily shy. Introverts can be quiet, reserved and introspective, but introversion itself is not about shyness. Rather, an introvert is someone who gains energy by being alone and loses energy by being around others. Therefore, this personality type, who works in an open office environment, can feel quite drained by the end of the day. Below are some tips to building a relationship with an introvert in the workplace.

While an introvert would prefer to work in solitude, this is not always possible in today's modern offices. Give this sensitive personality-type an opportunity to be alone during the day. Having lunch by oneself is a great opportunity for the solitary loving individual to recharge and get through the rest of the busy day.

Let the introvert have a chance to tune out during the day. Unless one has to be on the telephone for an entire shift, there’s really no reason why an introvert can’t plug into a pair of headphones attached to an MP3 player once in a while. This will help provide focus and increased productivity.

Introverts learn well by being observant. Not only are they the great thinkers of the world, but they see things that others might overlook. They are also great writers. When working with others on projects, give the introvert the jobs that suit their personality. Put them in a small group or one-on-one situations and see them thrive. Getting to know an introvert can be quite profound as the conversations will be deep and meaningful, and the work produced will be amazing.

Building a relationship with an introvert in the workplace may seem daunting. However, getting to know one is actually quite rewarding. An introvert’s quiet and reserve personality just means that she is really just sitting back and taking it all in. More often than not, she offers perspective on situations that are sometimes difficult to understand, and the conversations…oh the conversations…they will be profound and meaningful.

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©2014 Susan Dusterhoft, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a/

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