There are many misconceptions around introverts in the workplace. Some business leaders assume that an introverted employee would be withdrawn, unable to work in a team, and painfully shy. While it's true that introverts perform their roles in a different way to extroverts, the truth is that the best teams need both types of people.
While extroverts are likely to take more risks, introverts are more methodical in their work. 50% of the population may be described as "introverted" according to the Myers-Briggs group
. Finding the right balance between introverted and extroverted staff members may be the key to the ultimate medical devices or pharmaceutical team
Here are some valuable reasons to hire more introverts this year.
1. They're Ideal for Team-Based Projects
In a life sciences setting, teamwork is often essential. Business analysts work together with sales managers, product managers, and so on. Despite common belief, introverts are a valuable addition to any team, because they listen before they speak
In a group of extroverts, information and ideas often get lost in the battle for leadership. However, when you bring an introvert into the mix, they can gather all of the insights of their peers and use them to make informed decisions for the good of the community.
Introverts aren't interested in taking the spotlight or making their voices heard. Instead, these staff members are highly supportive, collaborative, and understanding. They have a high level of emotional intelligence, which makes them easy to get along with, too.
2. Introverts are Self-Motivated
Recognition is often crucial for extroverts. They need a lot of feedback from team leaders to ensure they're on the right path. While introverts also like to be appreciated, they don't seek it out as aggressively. Often, introverts are happy to simply put their head down and focus on the task at hand.
Introverts drive their own development
and continuously search for ways to increase productivity, without having to be prompted by business leaders. Whether in a clinical specialist or channel manager position, your introverted staff member will work autonomously at their own pace.
As well as being very easy to manage, introverts are also great at incorporating feedback into their performance. As highly reflective people, they're keen to apply what they learn to their work, which means that they're always growing more efficient.
3. They Can be Fantastic Leaders
Forbes suggests that up to 40% of top executives
may be introverts. With introverted employees, you get a different kind of leadership. Usually, these managers and team leaders are more introspective and deliberate. They're excellent listeners, which means that they can hear all of the issues at hand when tackling a complex project. Additionally, introverts are less likely to rush into risky decisions.
If you need a business leader that will carefully consider the outcome
of their decisions before putting actions in place, an introvert is a great choice. These staff members will happily do all of the research required to determine whether a new piece of healthcare equipment or new processes will genuinely benefit your company.
Additionally, when introverts find meaningful causes in their work environments, they're highly committed workers. They won't stop until they've reached their goals.
4. Introverts are Excellent Problem Solvers
It's easy to assume that the highest levels of creativity come from extroverted, collaborative situations. However, according to Susan Cain, author of "Quiet Revolution
" that isn't always the case. Cain suggests that solitude supports more creative insights from employees.
Additionally, a study in 2012 supports this idea, showing that introverts have more grey matter in the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that drives decision making and abstract thinking.
As the life sciences industry continues to evolve with new technology and challenges, introverts are a great asset. These employees are driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and an ability to discover solutions that other people have missed.
5. Introverts Aren't Easily Distracted
Pharma and medical devices environments can be chaotic
. There are a lot of people working together, constant problems to solve and new ideas to implement. Some business leaders may think that an introvert would suffer in these situations. However, introverts are wired to block out the noise when necessary.
While extroverts pull energy from social interactions, introverts channel their power from within. This means that introverts aren't easily distracted by what's going on around them. Where extroverts may add to the noise in a life science space, introverts will focus on each task until it's done.
The strength and focus of an introvert can even anchor other members of your team. Introverts are great at keeping others calm during high-pressure situations and reducing the emotional impact of stressful work.
It's time that life sciences companies recognised the value of introverts, and why they need more of these people on their team.
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