Idea in short

He is unassuming, silent and never seeks attention. The introvert colleague is best kept in the background. What he does there is often invisible, but what he delivers is usually of excellent quality.

Psychologist Carl Jung was the first person to describe these two personality extremes back in the 1960s. He wrote that introverts and extraverts could be separated based on how they regain energy. Introverts, his basic definition said, prefer minimally stimulating environments, and they need time alone to recharge. Extroverts refuel by being with others.


People who are considered introverted are self-absorbed, much unlike the extroverts in the leagues of the jester and the self-proponent. Their very quiet and restrained nature is, in most cases, drowned by others, which leads to introverts often not being perceived correctly. This is true in private life as well as in the workplace and involves both advantages and disadvantages.

At a glance

  • Introverted
  • Does not like to talk (in front of many people)
  • Must be on its own
  • Listener
  • More passive than active
  • More of a single player / individual contributor than a team player
  • Tends to perfectionism
  • Avoid conflicts and open disputes
  • Works effectively
  • Is focused
  • Taken seriously
  • Does not like small talk (especially not about private matters)
  • Does not like physical proximity

 How to deal with them?

The greatest difficulty when dealing with introverted workers is to lure them out of their reservations. In other words, how can you manage your colleague to trust you:

  • To say something about XY?
  • To work in the team?
  • Deal with rejections
  • Pull the helm
  • Actively end a conflict

The solution lies in accepting him as he is and giving him the space he needs. The biggest mistake one can make in dealing with introverts is corner them into extroversion. Such efforts would be perceived as harassment and forcing your introverted colleague to be happy is basically rendering damage! It is better to give him the space and time he needs. Let the introvert decide forhimself when he wants to speak and give him the opportunity to open up. At the same time, you should take a step back and not restrict your colleague, either physically and verbally. Introverts require a lot of patience and training.

Team work

In general, the introverts prefer to conduct conversations under two eyes instead of in the group. Teamwork is not a foreign word, but would not bestow the greatest happiness upon them. While extroverted people are only really getting warm when they come into contact with others, this kind of interaction is extremely tiring for introverts.

It is also important not to generalise introversion as a universal trait of some colleagues. If your colleague does not want to have lunch with you because of his character traits, this must be accepted, but it does not mean that you have to let go of your attempts. It may well be that he has some desire to eat with you. By sending the corresponding signals to the introvert and through open communication, you could catalyse their opening up process.