You know the type: The ultimate introvert. The kind of person who avoids hides in the bathroom when you’re handing out assignments that involve presentations, or virtually crawls under the table to avoid speaking at meetings, or calls in sick on their birthday to avoid a breakroom celebration.
It may not seem worth trying to get them out of their shell. After all, why is it your business to deal with their hang-ups about personal relationships?
But there are business implications. By not working to coax an introvert into your corporate mainstream, you might give up a lot.
These employees might not say much voluntarily. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have things to say. Letting them stay in the shadows might rob you of amazing insights that would otherwise lead to improved productivity and increased profits.
Here are some tips for drawing these introverts out of their shells.
Different Approaches for Different Folk
First, it’s important to realize your shy employees might require special care. In management, one size never fits all. Don’t assume an employee will come around to your way of doing things. You might have to go to them.
Treat each employee as an individual. Make an effort to identify when an employee is shy or prone to disappear in a crowd. Then, work out an approach tailored to that person.
Show Some Personal Attention
Approach your wallflower and try to break through their feelings of anonymity. They may feel detached from the corporate culture or find it hard to connect with co-workers. You can become the bridge between a shy or introverted employee and those around them.
Take the time to form an individual relationship with your shy employee. It will make them more likely to approach you with ideas and make accepting feedback from you less scary.
Remain Upbeat and Encouraging
How you deliver a message matters. If you bark orders or constantly shout criticism, you create a toxic environment, especially for people predisposed to avoid conflict.
Instead, frame your feedback in a positive way. Keep your manner calm and collected at all times. Of course, you still need to correct mistakes and encourage improvement. Just do so in the most nourishing way possible.
Build Confidence by Focusing on Strengths
Every employee has a different personality and a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. Your job: Maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.
Encouraging a shy employee might involve an emphasis on the first part of that equation. Let them know what they are doing well and put them in positions where they can maximize their most dynamic skills. Instead of faulting them for not speaking up at meetings or for getting painfully nervous during presentations, look for the ways they can comfortably contribute to the team.
Partner Them Up
Shy workers may instinctively shrink away from personal interactions, intimidated by crowds and unfamiliar people. But placed among co-workers they like and trust, they often become friendly and outgoing (at least within that limited setting). Sometimes, they become positively bubbly.
See if you can spark this response. Pick a particularly outgoing, supportive co-worker and partner them with your wallflower. See what happens. You might stumble on that classic buddy-cop, opposites-attract dynamic that creates a truly unstoppable duo.
Building a dynamic team involves bringing in workers with a host of skills and a variety of personalities. Partnering with a top-flight recruiter, like PrideStaff, can deliver the diverse talent you need to take your business to the next level.
Contact PrideStaff Bend today to learn more.