Understanding the Introvert

Posted: Dec 28 2014

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Corporate culture does not favour the introvert, thanks to the ever-growing focus on loud and more forward individuals.

Despite this shift in focus though, the introvert remains a valuable employee and deserves far more credit than they are given at present.    

Here at  Team Challenge Company we know everyone is different, especially introverts.

Introverts account for a sizable portion of the population, with famous examples including the inventor Albert Einstein, actress Emma Watson and visionary Mahatma Gandhi.

There is no rule to say introverts can't be as successful as their extroverted counterparts, but they can struggle in team situations where they may be eclipsed by louder individuals.

The key to striking the perfect balance between extroverted and introverted team members is to understand the introvert fully. This includes how to spot them, what makes them tick and how best to involve them in the team. 

As one of the UK's leading team building companies, we are well-versed in the psychology behind teams and individuals at work. For example, the idea of the introvert has been covered by many theorists but is most notably referred to in the Myers-Briggs model.

This model reviews different personality traits and how to get the most from them in professional and collaborative settings.

The fact that so much research has been conducted into the importance of personality types, and specifically the introvert, suggests that understanding personalities is the key to building successful teams and businesses.

That is why we have put together the below guide to understanding the introvert.

Read on to learn more about this often overlooked team member, and get a better idea of their place in your team.

Signs of an Introvert

An introvert is quiet by nature and choice, so it can be difficult to see them unless you are looking. There are tell-tale signs if you need to spot an introvert though, and they include:

  • Gets easily distracted
  • Appear to be anti-social or shy
  • Not overly talkative, even when interested in conversation

  • Private and reserved, they tend not to share personal details
  • Often have good ideas, but rarely share them in group settings
  • Prefer peace and quiet
  • Observant, studious and often found reading books (or people)
  • Can appear territorial, preferring to carve out a private and quiet space for themselves

The Textbook Introvert

There are many different definitions of an ‘introvert', but the Myers-Briggs model is generally used as the textbook definition. The introvert prefers to spend their time looking inwardly, reflecting and focusing on ideas and images, rather than on people and things.

Some other characteristics of a textbook introvert are:

  • Reflection and introspection
  • Unlikely to be interactive
  • Preference for solitary activities and time alone
  • Associated with artist, writer, musician and inventor tropes


  • Focus on concepts and thinking of things from all angles
  • Well-read and highly observant
  • Able to cut themselves off from the outside world
  • Struggle to trust and build relationships
  • Find multi-tasking challenging
  • Prefer to watch, learn and understand before participating
  • Tend to think before they speak
  • Can become overwhelmed in certain social situations
  • Often mistaken for being shy or socially anxious; introverts are solitary through preference, not fear

Tackling introversion in team settings can be a challenge, but one that is well worth the time and effort involved.

You may need to be patient and encouraging, but the advantages that come with having introverts on your team will far outweigh any of the growing pains.

To find out more about the introvert, other personality types and how they work in team settings, get in touch with Team Challenge Company today.

Our team building events and team development activities will help you to identify specific strengths and traits in your team that you can work on and benefit from in the long run. 

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