The Power of Introverts in the Workplace

Did you know that one third to one half of Americans are introverts? That means that one out of every two or three people that you know is an introvert, and you may be one of them.

Here’s a fun way to look at the comparison of introverts and extroverts.  See which category you lean towards more than the other.

Introverts Extroverts
  1. Focus inward to gain energy.
  2. Draw energy from their internal world of ideas, emotions, and impressions.
  3. They conserve their energy.
  4. Are like a rechargeable battery.
  5. Often spend time in quiet, reflective places where they can think things through and recharge themselves.
  6. Need to balance their alone time with outside time, or they can lose perspectives and connections.
  7. Need to calculate how much energy something will take, how much they need to conserve, and plan accordingly.
  8. Can’t wait for after the party.
  9. Like to know a lot about what they experience.
  1. Focus outward to gain energy.
  2. Are energized by the external world – by activities, people, places and things.
  3. They are energy spenders.
  4. Are like solar panels.
  5. Often spend energy freely and often have trouble slowing down.
  6. Need to balance their time doing with intervals of just being, or they can lose themselves in a whirlwind of anxious activities.
  7. May experience loneliness and a feeling of being drained when they are not in contact with people or the outside world.
  8. Love the after parties.
  9. Like to experience a lot.

So, which side are you more like?

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, the key is to embrace who you are. If you are more of an extrovert, you may want to learn to listen and understand others. If you are an introvert, recognize that you have insight that other people should hear too and don’t underestimate the power of connecting. Some famous introverts include Diane Sawyer, Tom Hanks, Prince William, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Alfred Hitchcock, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, and Harrison Ford.

As you look at that list, were there any surprises for you? If you are an introvert, you are in good company. Recognize that everyone is different. We have unique personalities, love languages, and temperaments. That’s the beauty of how we were created. The key is to know how to work together by using everyone’s strengths. As you look at that list of famous and successful introverts above, find comfort in knowing that introversion didn’t stop them. It set them apart and helped them be their best.

Finally, most introverts figure out how to work with extroverts just by their nature, but truthfully not all extroverts know how to work with introverts. Introverts learn a lot because they are able to sit back and observe. There are many positive things about being an introvert that should not be underestimated, and their personalities and observation is very much needed in the workforce.


Written by Paul Gustavson, Jennifer Conway, and Drew Grant