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Dear Work Therapist - I'm a huge introvert

Edited
Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 26, 2021

Dear Work Therapist,

I'm Hana and I'm a huge introvert. Last time I checked and tested myself - I'm 83% Introverted :-).

This means I get tired very quickly when I have to interact with a lot of people and I really like to be alone and work all by myself.

At work I'm usually able to do my tasks without any help from others. I try to save as much energy as possible for my customers, which means I try to avoid meetings with a lot of coworkers and usually only do 1-1 calls, when somebody needs me or I need something from others.

During pandemic I started to work from home and now I'm 100% remote worker.

And I'm very happy like this and I love my job.

My boss is a great guy, who knows who I'm and don't push me. But sometimes I feel guilty.

So, should I push myself and try to interact more or is it ok to stay like this? How much harm do I do to my team with my attitude?

Thank you.

10 comments

Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 26, 2021

Hi Hana! Thanks so much for sharing this post. I love that you are thinking about the well-being of your team - that shows how teamwork-oriented you are and that's great. 

I would say: do not feel guilty! It really shouldn't matter if you are introverted, extroverted, or otherwise, in order for your team to thrive. Our differences are what make teams great. As long as we are communicative about who we are and what we need from work, there's no reason why we can't create high-functioning teams.

We actually blogged about this topic a few years back, and I think you might like some of this content. We had an introvert and an extrovert share tips for how to work with them, and people really appreciated it! The last thing I'll say is there is a great play you can run called My User Manual that can help teams communicate with each other about their preferences. I'll also link it here. 

Blog posts

How to work with an introvert, written by an introvert

How to work with an extrovert, written by an extrovert 

Atlassian Playbook Play

My User Manual

 

Curious to hear what others think about the best way to bring our unique personalities and preferences to the table

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 26, 2021

Hi @Natalie ,

thank you for your response and support. I didn't know about these articles. I enjoyed them, it looks like Season is exactly like me :-).

I will suggest my coworkers to try the playbook play. I'm curious what we can learn about each other this way.

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this
Jack Brickey Community Leader Jul 31, 2021

Thanks for sharing the articles Natalie! I am such an extrovert and I always find it interesting to read the differences between the two personalities. Being an extrovert I sometimes don't pay attention to how introverts might see the world.cheeky

Liam Green Community Leader Jul 26, 2021

Thanks for the articles Natalie - they make for very interesting reading.

Hana - I don't think you should feel guilty at all.  We all work differently, and all work at our best when we embrace each other's differences!

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 27, 2021

Thank you, @Liam Green !

Like Liam Green likes this

Like @Natalie said, absolutely do not feel guilty! According to "Quiet" by Susan Cain, half the world is introverted :)

I too am an extreme introvert. Funny story: I once took a personality test as part of a work retreat. My introversion/extroversion score did not print on my results sheet, so I asked the facilitator for another printout. To my embarrassment, it turned out that I was so far on the introversion scale (0% extroverted) that my reading was on the starting point of the scale and could not be detected. 

We've learned that differences in personalities are good for teamwork.

  • From our Open research, we know that diversity of thinking helps innovation. Homogenous brainstorming will churn out the same types of ideas. 
  • Representation matters. You may not feel it, but the more colleagues see themself in others, the more they can be themselves and/or feel comfortable engaging with others.
  • Accessibility matters. Product development made by a team who think the same way will approach problem-solving from the same way and become an echo chamber for each other's ideas. And how they communicate, how they use a product...it's more important to have diverse testers and inputs than to operate using the same work preference methods for the sake moving quickly. The differences actually add to the end product and make products more accessible. 

I could keep going on the reasons why personality differences can be helpful, introversion vs extroversion included. Your preferences to internalize information before jumping into conversations OR to work as async as possible...those are ways you're actually contributing to the team. You're helping your team work in different ways, which may lead them to think differently or communicate differently. And ultimately, that's not just good for your teamwork diversity, but good for whatever content or products you're working on.

Basically, your introversion is an asset. Lean into it, @Hana Kučerová wink

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 28, 2021

Hi @Christine P_ Dela Rosa ,

your story made my day. I would probably also don't have any extroversion points...

Thank you for your kind words and support!

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

Dear @Hana Kučerová, let me speak from the position of extremely extrovert person who is lucky to have similarly introverted teammates as you are. There are many qualities that I really appreciate in them which are in my opinion simply positive side effects of introversion.
For instance when our duties overlap and I need to interact with people like you I get info straight to the point, usually as a note before we even start speaking what helps all of us save time. Another, maybe funny, but undoubtedly great thing is that they simply do not distract others at work! We should appreciate quiet quality workers and contributors of great changes who work in their intimate environment.

As long as you communicate progress, and escalate issues when necessary you are simply another color of a wonderful rainbow (please forgive me this pathetic comparison... ;)).

I am currently involved in a research/upscaling project, which means big groups of introverted scientists in the teams I work with, and believe me - it makes my work not less enjoyable.

Thanks for posting your story!

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 28, 2021

Thank you @Mateusz Goralczyk ,

I admire your attitude towards introverted teammates, surely I would feel great in your team.

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If your boss knows it and he mostly gives you task that you can handle alone, it sounds ok.

But you should take care if it gets >83% and you (or colleagues) see that you get problems in working with customes in 1on1 meetings.

Also if you see that you get problems with this point (or it takes too much energy) "I try to save as much energy as possible for my customers"

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 29, 2021

Hi @Alexander Pappert ,

thank you, I've been thinking a lot about what you've written.

I try to do my best for my customers, so they are not affected by my introvertness. If some training or call with a lot of people needs to be done, I do it. It's exhausting for me, but I cannot afford to tell them "hey guys, sorry, I'm introvert, I won't do that, because it will cost me too much energy" :-) :-) :-)...

But sometimes it also means there's no energy left for my team...

Anyway, I will ask my coworkers about the feedback more often...

Like Alexander Pappert likes this

Do what makes you happy, introverted and extroverted people are needed, we don't all have to be the same. I am sometimes very sociable but if I get bored or if I need to I have no problem to focus on my own things and ignore the rest.

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 29, 2021

Thank you @Ignacio Aredez 

I also think of myself as an introvert. And during the pandemic, I have realized besides having that "me time," it is also healthy to push yourself to try to interact with other people every once in a while.

If you have the chance to go to the office once a week or something, it always brings some sort of joy and/or learnings.

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Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 31, 2021

Thank you @Huwen Arnone -DEISER- , I will probably return to the office for at least one day in a week later this year...

Like Huwen Arnone -DEISER- likes this

If it's not too much, also share how that goes. I'm interested to know if it turns out to be something good for you or not. Have a productive week ahead!

Hi @Hana Kučerová great topic :D

Can you post the link for the test? I'm quite often confused when thinking about my introvert/extrovert status. For example I totally hate to come to the group of the people but I'm totally happy when this group of people is made around me but I'm the first member of the group :D.

For example, during the parties, it happend few times that I stayed somewhere and finally there was group of 20people around me who were totally drunk (I helped them) :D

So I think we should not change ourselfs but it is quite good to go out of the comfort zone to train our internal power. And from your team's point of view... I think introverts should be part of the group discussions. It is useful for them to listen and they can think about the discussed topics. I don't think introverts must be forced to talk, but they can always think and share the thoughts on 1x1 meeting.

Like Hana Kučerová likes this
Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 31, 2021

Hi @Martin Bayer _MoroSystems_ s_r_o__ ,

thank you. The test is called 16personalities - I like it very much, it tells you really a lot about your personality. Maybe it's time to take it again, looks like my last results are from May 2020 :-)...

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THank you :)... and I am 73% introvert... :D

Hana Kučerová Community Leader Jul 31, 2021

Congratulations :-)! I'm still 83% introvert, but I'm more assertive then before...

Hi @Hana Kučerová, that resource looks really useful! I will do it. Thank you. Great you asked for the test @Martin Bayer _MoroSystems_ s_r_o__ 😅

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Hi @Huwen Arnone -DEISER- if I had 90% I would not ask :D

Like Huwen Arnone -DEISER- likes this

 

I agree with @Ignacio Aredez  we need extroverts AND introverts, so go with what works for you.

As you get older / more experienced / develop you are meant to move across the scale. I must be growing at least a little because, according to the test, Ive flipped from text book unequivocal extrovert to 54% introvert.

Like Hana Kučerová likes this
Hana Kučerová Community Leader Aug 05, 2021

@Linda Milne_Togetha Group_ My boss is an extrovert and where he ends I start and vice versa. Together we are unstoppable!

giphy

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

Nice one. I look around me and see lots of those kinds of relationships. We need to find our complimentary match(es)!

Hi @Hana Kučerová 

   Sharing is always beautiful, having closeness, trust and a little feeling with people gives you life, if you want to overcome your introverted way of being, you have to leave yourself and take the first step, keep in mind that if you do not force yourself by interacting a little more with people at some point you can isolate yourself and that I do not think is positive.

   But you must be convinced to take the step, little by little and that it makes you happy, cheer up

Cheers

Like Hana Kučerová likes this

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