Introvert or extrovert? It is both perféct!

‘Recently, we and the colleagues here read a great article in the FD. The title? Introvert with extrovert work. It was, at first, hard to suppress a smile. Though admittedly it was a smile from recognition, because just as within any organization, working at Panthion also professionals with introverted traits and qualities. One of our colleagues last year had a similar insight to the people in the article. Speaking is Rik Berghout, founder and owner of the company.

‘Upon reading a list of “characteristics of introverts,” a world opened up to him. While the outside world always “labeled” him as an extrovert (which is often still seen as more positive than introvert anyway) he did not recognize himself in that at all. We are not at all into labels. While that is often the first feeling that comes to you when you read something on this topic. As far as we’re concerned, it’s all about doing what really suits you as a person.

‘To be sustainably successful, it is ónmissible to put people first. Always. And especially in these times when the application of artificial intelligence is rapidly gaining ground, it is more important than ever to (re)recognize the added value of the empathetic human being. Especially when we look, for example, at career-related pathways, such as coaching & training, outplacement, mobility employment et cetera,” Rik said.

Don’t do what you always did, because you’ll get what you always got

‘This means looking at culture, industry, colleagues, operations and working conditions at employers from a broader perspective. In doing so, we see that the best chance of sustainable employability success is when there is a click on all these facets. Here we include the work environment and personal preferences. And yes, so also whether someone is introverted or extroverted. No one benefits from always feeling like they have to tiptoe. After all, how happy do you really get when presentations, phone calls and networking meetings give you a stomach ache or a feeling of stress?

Know your employees

‘For employers, it is especially important to know their employees well. This will be a little easier with some than others. Especially the introverted, sometimes shy people, are less likely to indicate how they are doing than those who are very extroverted and open through life. Our tip? Talk to them, coach them, motivate them and know what’s going on. In an organizational culture where trust and safety are present, employees are more open about personal limitations and desires. In addition, proactively indicate (external) expertise to discuss this. Sometimes a lot is possible with minor adjustments in work or working conditions. Think of the office environment with lots of stimuli where the introverted personality has difficulty coming into its own. The last thing we want is to make a mark. Precisely not. Because everyone is different and it’s all good,” Rik says. ‘That’s just what’s so great about working with people.’

Getting started in concrete terms

  • Take a test and/or read about the difference between introverts and extroverts (you can learn from each other).
  • As a manager, take a look at the composition of the team: what do you notice and/or are everyone’s talents and preferences being used adequately?
  • Entrepreneurs may also have an introverted preferred style. When you have a better understanding of this, it makes it easier to make choices in tasks that you can better delegate, for example.
  • Read up on personal behavior and preferred styles.
  • Offer employees who need it a coaching program. And no, these do not have to be fifteen sessions. In three to five conversations, a coach can get you off to a great start with a personal plan, mirroring and providing feedback and advice.

Sparring? Consultation? Discuss that one case? You can. We are happy to help you .

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