As we grow up, make our way through the school system and then into a workplace, we are constantly being encouraged to be outgoing and extrovert in order to be successful.
But for some, being confident and gregarious just doesn’t come naturally. At the end of the day, we are all different! Perhaps you would rather have some solitude and space to allow your creative juices to flow?
Susan Cain’s TED video on the Power of Introverts eloquently probes whether the external stimulation forced upon us in the workplace is suppressing innovation and happiness. Every one out of two or three people you know are introvert – but that does not necessarily mean they are shy. Just that they get their stimulation from the inside, whereas someone more externally focused gets their energy from the outside.
Susan Cain has a simple message: we need to pay more attention to our workforce. What motivates and inspires one, may not work for another, and why should it?
How many businesses are adapting tasks, activities and open-plan work places to cater for individual preferences? The impact on employee engagement, recruitment and selection could be significant if they did. Not to mention employee retention, which can be a huge cost to a business (check out our free Attrition Calculator here).
Achieving workplace ‘nirvana’ is within reach.
All you need to do is use a conversational tool called the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile. It is a way of thinking about people and groups that allows you to notice and respond to how they get motivated, process information, and make decisions.
The LAB Profile is a set of about 12 questions that you can feed into casual conversation at work to understand someone’s motivations – such as if they are Internally referenced or Externally referenced (often referred to as introverts or extroverts). You pay attention to how people talk when they answer, rather than what they talk about. Even when a person does not answer the question directly, he or she will reveal his / her pattern by the manner in which they answer (or don’t)!
As you become familiar with the questions and the kind of responses people give, you will find that you can hear and pick up the patterns people use without actually having to ask the questions. In that situation, you can immediately use the right Influencing Language to get the response you’re looking for.
So what could LAB profiling reveal?
The secrets to workplace nirvana! Well, almost. Take a big step back and have a look at your team. Are there individuals who would benefit from a workplace shake up? Perhaps an internally referenced employee, whose productivity and motivation levels may be boosted by a more flexible working approach. Could they work partly from home, then come into the office feeling more refreshed and ready to interact with their colleagues? Or perhaps there is an externally referenced employee, who might need more networking opportunities, or chances to get out of the office and represent your brand.
Taking a flexible approach means that you can design your workplace to suit each and every employee. A happy employee means a happy employer!
Want to find out more about using the LAB Profile to create a happy, balanced workplace that will accommodate both introverts and extroverts? Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.