Most companies have a tendency to hire "go-getters" who are "outgoing" and show "leadership ability." Extroverts, in other words.

Primarily hiring extroverts is shortsighted, though, according to Rodney Anderson, CEO of the rapidly-growing Pancheros Mexican Grill and a self-identified introvert.

Here are his four reasons (followed by six of my own) why introverts make great employees:

1. They are fantastic listeners.

Introverts tend to have highly honed listening skills. They easily pick up on and detect discords in team dynamics and can appropriately address them to deflect potentially toxic situations and dynamics.

2. They prepare in advance.

Introverts can be uncomfortable with presentations and meetings, so they arm themselves with over-preparedness, impressive to bosses and clients. They create a flow of how they picture the meeting going and stick to that when leading it.

3. They have laser focus.

Because introverts tend to be quiet and stick to themselves, they tend to concentrate on getting their work completed, without becoming distracted. Their efficiency also inspires other employees to emulate that commitment in their own jobs and processes.

4. They stay calm in tough situations.

Introverts avoid conflict as much as possible, so when a tough situation arises, they are the best at staying calm and keeping a level head. This is a great skill for a managerial candidate to have as they are able to objectively evaluate the situation and address accordingly.

5. They don't hog the limelight.

Introverts enjoy getting credit for work well done but they're not likely to grandstand or claim credit for projects that involved the work of other people. This tendency to appropriately share credit makes them trusted co-workers and popular as team members.

6. Less workplace drama.

Some extroverts can't be happy unless they're at the center of some kind of drama--usually involving as many co-workers as possible. Because introverts are naturally discrete, they're a calming influence that keeps situations from becoming too emotional.

7. Fewer, shorter meetings.

Extroverts love meetings and usually think of "communication" as something good in and of itself. Introverts are more likely to think of meetings as a burden, especially when they're not time-limited with a real agenda. Fewer meetings means more gets done.

8. Less office chit-chat.

Social interaction at work is a good thing, but like many good things can be toxic in excess. Extroverts use chit-chat to avoid work, thereby tying up two (or more) people. Introverts are more likely to web-surf or play solitaire, which only wastes their own time.

9. They are more innovative.

As I pointed out in "Introverts Will Soon Rule the Business World," introverts are better adapted than extroverts to a world where most business communications takes place online and where innovation is both crucial and constant.

10. They help extroverts shine.

Extroverts are well-suited for many jobs, especially in sales and marketing. Such extroverts are more successful with a support team of introverts to handle details, thereby freeing the extrovert to concentrate on personalities and people.

Published on: Aug 6, 2015
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