Today's workplaces are supposed to "collaborative." Indeed, most companies have invested heavily to create open-plan offices designed to increase communication between individuals and groups.

You'd think that the "collaborative" workplace would be perfectly suited to extraverts who, after all, are already good at communicating. You'd think wrong, though. "Collaborative" workplaces bring out the worst in extraverts and best in introverts. Here's why:

  1. Introverts think before they talk. Extraverts talk before they think. In most business communications "Ready, Aim, Shoot" works better than "Ready, Shoot, Aim."
  2. Introverts are quieter. One or two loud-mouthed extraverts can turn an open-plan office into a productivity toilet. Introverts tend to naturally keep their voices down.
  3. Introverts are more innovative. While some famous innovators were extraverts (e.g. Steve Jobs), most are introverts (e.g. Gates, Page, Einstein, Newton, Tesla, etc.)
  4. Introverts are better at selling. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the best salespeople are good listeners--the direct opposite of the fast-talking extravert.
  5. Introverts are less political. Most politicians are extraverts. While that's may be appropriate in government, "office politics" is mostly a waste of time and energy.
  6. Introverts make better team-members. Introverts generally don't mind sharing credit. Extraverts are far more likely to "find a parade and get out in front of it."
  7. Introverts seldom grandstand. Drama kings and queens are almost always extraverts. Introverts cringe at the very idea of throwing a hissy-fit in public.
  8. Introverts can "buckle down" better. Extraverts would rather chit-chat than put their proverbial noses to the grindstone. Introverts prefer to focus on the task at hand.
  9. Introverts avoid long meetings. Meetings are productivity sink-holes. Introverts want to get them over quickly; extraverts want to "keep the conversation going."
  10. Introverts adapt better to online work. Extraverts get antsy (and go AWOL) when most of the interaction takes place on a screen. Introverts prefer to work online.
  11. Introverts are more productive. Introverts would rather work than gab. Extraverts would rather gab than work. It's really that simple.
Published on: Dec 15, 2017
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