This paper explores the ideas presented by Stephanie Sarkis (2019) in the article titled “Introverts can be your most valuable employees”. The article explains how introverts are generally mistaken to be shy, avoiding all kinds of social interactions. The expectations of society have led introverts to assume that individuals who are more outgoing and have a greater number of friends are bound to be more successful at everything. The author aims to debunk this myth, listing out situations where introverts shine. Sarkis (2019) suggests ways to turn the workplace introvert-friendly, making use of the powerhouse the introverts are. This paper examines all the recommendations presented and their feasibility in the work environment.
Helping the Quiet Ones at Work
In Stephanie Sarkis’s (2019) article, “Introverts can be your most valuable employees” she starts by pointing out the observant quality of an introvert. They simply notice things that most would not register. This single trait has helped make a greater number of discoveries and inventions than any other human quality that comes to mind. Unfortunately, society has always been prejudiced against introverts, often terming them as the shy ones or simply, anti-social. The community heaps reward on individuals who take to the frontline. Sarkis (2019) points out how this notion is imprinted into the mind as early as preschool. Being more involved in a class or group makes one seem more social and open, compared to the quiet kid playing alone. By the time the kid turns into a young adult, he has been repeatedly put down numerous times, by the need of the society to stand out or speak up. Sarkis (2019) goes ahead listing how supervisors can identify introverts.
- A typical introvert is notably skilled at observing people around him or her and the workplace, making them an excellent choice for feedback and critical reviews.
- Unlike extroverts, introverts do not require constant motivation or encouraging speeches to perform well. It is the task at hand that drives them. They do not need constant compliments but contrarily spot a fake compliment, which should be avoided.
- Extroverts have several friends and are popular whereas introverts generally have close-knit of friends which sometimes last through their lives. They are generally more intimate.
- Introverts analyze before starting on anything new, going through all the steps critically and forming a path to completion. They need less supervision at the start, but Sarkis (2019) recommends the supervisor to go to the introvert and see if they require help.
- Introverts take time to scrutinize the facts before deciding, this makes for a very calculated approach. Sarkis (2019) believes it is better to have a calculated risk-taker on your side than a person taking more risks.
- It can be observed that introverts are more independent and less fazed by the status quo or office politics.
Sarkis (2019) goes ahead listing steps to unleash the full potential of introverts at the workplace.
- The supervisor should not be hesitant in seeking opinions of an introvert. They truly come into a league of their own when asked for an idea or answer.
- Pairing an extrovert and an introvert can create a pleasing result. However, care should be taken to prevent discordance.
- Introverts are less likely to speak in front of others, giving them one-on-one time helps them discuss things. This goes a long way in creating a bond, which helps in future communication.
- Best decisions arrive only after careful consideration of all the pros and cons. So, it is okay to give time to introverts to study all the facts before a discussion or decision making.
- Pairing introverts with assignments they are skillful at will increase their productivity immensely. Supervisors should get to know the person’s strengths.
According to studies introverts make up 33 to 50% of the American population (Cain, 2013). The efficient utilization of this huge chunk of the workforce could lead to an immense increase in productivity. Identifying introverts has always been a challenge, there are no set rules or algorithms to distinguish between the two human traits. Sarkis (2019) has tried to help distinguish and the two sets of people at a workplace. From the human resource perspective better managing the introvert workforce can lead to the following gains for the firm.
Better decision making. Each decision taken by an introvert involves a rigorous study of the facts at hand, the course the decision will lead to and its implication. This makes them very good at decision making, developing introverts into leaders would lead to a better-structured approach to solving problems at hand.
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Motivated workforce and good leaders. Introverts do not seek constant praise and gain satisfaction from task completion. This reduces the need for motivational speeches and celebrations at work. As leaders they dislike limelight all the time and would rather give the credit to the entire team, keeping the team motivated.
Observant employees. In meetings, it may seem that introverts are quietly sitting and lost but they are analyzing the information presented, studying it critically and ready to give feedback when asked directly. They discover scenarios and implications that were never thought of, saving the future resources of the firm. They also notice other introverts, using body language and facial expressions, and often help each other in case of problems. This increases the overall productivity of the workplace.
Sarkis (2019) has provided a detailed approach to harness the potential of a large chunk of the workforce. Most of the points suggested by Sarkis (2019) are not very difficult to implement or requiring high resources. Pairing introverts to the work they will shine at does not seem to be an easy task but get that right and you have the most formidable asset any supervisor could ask for. To achieve this, the supervisor must give the introvert personal space and yet be close enough to discuss the challenges faced by the person. Talk to the person, get to know his strengths. If you need help with a problem, go meet the introvert. Give them time to study the problem and understand it. Concentrate on his or her skillset. With such a large section of the workforce being introvert a major portion of human resources is underutilized at present. Unlocking this potential powerhouse would lead to increased productivity and better leaders for tomorrow. More resources should be put into understanding the introvert trait, instead of condemning it since a young age.
- Cain, S. (2013). Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. London: Viking.
- Sarkis, S. (2019, January 31). Introverts Can Be Your Most Valuable Employees. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephaniesarkis/2019/01/30/introverts-can-be-your-most-valuable-employees/#5666d43c2400
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