I’m an extrovert… a ‘people person’… I love being around people, in fact I’m actually energised by people.
If I don’t get a chance to really communicate with people… if I don’t get the chance to connect with people… If I don’t get the chance to relate with people, I actually start to find my energy levels drop.
I’m the kind of person who loves the chatter, the sounds of talking… I like music in the background… I really love the buzz of it all… it really picks me up… it really gets me going – I love the sound of a positive working environment.
Now I know for some people, a noisy work place would frustrate them… but for me it’s the opposite, I love the hubbub.
So when today I found myself separated from my team I found myself slowly fading… I got grumpy… I got tired… worse of all I got quiet, which for someone like me who is a natural talker starts to get people worried… I felt isolated.
Here’s the crazy thing… I was moved to my position because a manager wanted me to not get distracted (which is fair I can be distracted easily) however they didn’t understand how energy levels of an extrovert can be determined by the people around them. You see it was fair for my manager to want to make sure I didn’t get to distracted, as a creative, people oriented person like me can be easily distracted… however is it really for the best?
So what can a manager (or any team leader) do with an extrovert that gets distracted easily?
What they shouldn’t do is put the person in a place where they feel isolated.
I can understand the urge to want to separate them from a group, however quite often you find that the person is more productive in a place that is right in the middle of the business, they are more creative, their mind is engaged and they seem to find their natural rhythm.
What you should do however is put them around people who are organised… putting two people who are easily distracted together is a recipe for disaster… however putting them in a place where they can distract when it’s quiet (and help keep the communication of a team together) but when it’s busy and time to get back to business, the people around them are focused and force the extrovert to do likewise.
You don’t need to do much to keep energy levels up… fun emails, just checking up on them… talking to them… keeping them in the middle of the buzz… and you will have a productive extrovert.
You see for someone like me… an extrovert… I don’t even need to be talking… just listening… just hearing the fun environment energizes me.
So please, leaders of teams… don’t be tempted to segregate an extrovert, but manage them by surrounding them with people who can keep them grounded. It actually does two things… it grounds the extrovert but quite often can pick up the vibe of a team in a positive way.
Have fun managing your extroverts.