We recently shared some tips for managing introverted staff, and today we're giving you some advice for working with extroverts. First, it's important to understand the kind of people extroverts are. Typically, extroverts enjoy being sociable and spending time with others. Extroverts often talk about getting their energy from other people so they thrive in social situations and can find it hard spending too much time on their own. With all this in mind, here are some key ways you can get the best out of your extroverted employees.
Working with other people
Extroverts often work best in group situations. If you need a problem solving, they are more likely to come up with their best ideas through group discussions rather than sitting quietly alone. It's also true that extroverts are naturally better at meeting new people so they will also enjoy customer facing duties too.
Let them talk through their ideas
Whether it is in a group discussion or during one-on-one sessions with you, extroverts are more likely to want to discuss their ideas in person rather than writing them down or sending you an email. Give them plenty of opportunities to talk with you and verbally share their ideas. They may also prefer to receive feedback in person rather than in writing. If you do, however, need to have some kind of written documentation of a meeting or conversation, be sure to check they're happy with any notes you write.
Get them selling!
Extroverts may find it easier than introverts to meet and talk with customers. Some say that extroverts try to make friends with everyone they meet, and this is a great quality to keep in mind when assigning sales-related duties to your staff. Extroverts will have a natural ability to start a conversation with customers and will often rise to the challenge of making a sale if it involves talking to people. If you have customer-facing roles in your organisation, whether it’s selling, serving or presenting, then your extroverts may be the best people for the job.
Don’t let them over commit
When extroverts are at work and surrounded by people, they will have a lot of energy and will feel like they can take more and more on. For this reason, it's possible than some extroverts may have a tendency to say yes to everything and will always want to get involved with extra activities, committees, group work, etc. While it's great to encourage all of your staff to take on new duties you would be wise to make sure the extroverts you manage don’t over commit as they can quickly tire themselves out.
Set clear boundaries
While you will have to make extra effort to get to know your introverted staff, extroverts may be very comfortable sharing lots of information about themselves. They may also be really keen to spend more time with you socially. Depending on the nature of your role and your own personality, it is important you set and maintain boundaries you are comfortable with so you can avoid any lines being blurred or crossed. That doesn't have to mean never socialising with your staff, it's more a case of not letting an extroverted staff member's eagerness to be good friends put you under any pressure. That said, it's important that you don't put up too many barriers or give extroverts the constant cold shoulder as this can have a negative impact on their mood, and subsequently productivity.
There are many scales of extroverted and introverted personalities and every person is unique, so being mindful of the different ways people are happiest and most productive is a real investment in your workforce and company.