4 ways managers can keep introverted and extroverted employees from clashing

Google career coach explains the secret strengths of introverts
Google career coach explains the secret strengths of introverts

Effective managers likely appreciate the diversity of their team's personality types. However, employees with opposing personality traits, like extroverts and introverts, may often find themselves butting heads.

Patrick Moran, the chief customer officer at content collaboration platform Quip, tells CNBC it's important for bosses to understand the preferred work styles of introverted and extroverted employees in order to be successful.

Here are four ways managers can keep these employees from clashing at the office:

1. Understand how work styles differ for introverts and extroverts

Generally speaking, extroverted employees are more spontaneous when it comes to making decisions. They work best by "standing up and delivering the message, the mission, the goals," says Moran. They also enjoy "brainstorm sessions" and meetings.

Introverted employees tend to be more data-driven. Unlike extroverts, they like to quietly solve problems alone rather than in "brainstorm sessions" and meetings.

Extroverted employees, for example, likely want to reduce reliance on emails.Meanwhile, introverts would love to cancel pointless in-person meetings, says Moran.

2. Learn what both traits bring to the workplace

Extroverts bring a strong and opinionated argument to the table and are willing to present ideas whether good, bad or incomplete, Moran explains.

Introverted employees, on the other hand, may work to understand a problem in a group setting, but then retreat to work on it alone. They usually need time to exhaust the problem via mental exercises by themselves before bringing it back to the larger group, says Moran.

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3. Look out for instances where both may clash

Imagine a meeting with employees that have each personality trait, says Moran.

Extroverted employees will want to leave the meeting with ideas that the team can immediately execute. "The two extroverts in the room riff on ideas, talking over one another. They are confident in their 'out loud' processing," Moran says.

Meanwhile, the introverted employees will process the dialog and take notes, but may not feel comfortable weighing in quite yet. "They want more facts. They want to write things down, process them on their own time," says Moran.

The issue: Extroverts see the introverts as weak or not pulling their weight because they aren't contributing right away. A clash occurs and the team doesn't get all of the best ideas presented because the outspoken extroverts were the ones who won the floor, says Moran.

4. Accommodate both personalities in group settings

A manager can effectively manage both personality types by giving each side "the breathing room to work the way they work best," Moran says.

For instance, bosses can set goals and milestones after an initial meeting on a subject with a deadline of two or three days, he says. This way, extroverts can brainstorm out loud and introverts have a chance to think of a solution over the span of a few days.

In big group settings, managers can break down larger teams into smaller two-person teams. This allows introverted employees to be heard, says Moran, without the social anxiety associated with "owning the floor."

Teams are the atomic unit of "getting things done" within a company, says Moran. "Diversity in gender, backgrounds and ... even introversion or extroversion can deliver a more thoughtful and impactful result or problem solution."

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See also:

The No. 1 advantage Mark Zuckerberg and other introverts have over extroverts

The best careers and college majors for extroverts and introverts

4 public speaking lessons from the class that changed Warren Buffett's life

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