There are plenty of articles one can find around the web about the value and importance of introverts. Sure, they don't clamor around your office telling you about all the great ideas they have – they don't make a big impression with clients or volunteer for the dunk booth at company parties – but they are the gears that make your business work.
There's a few reasons for that, and one of them is explored in this article by Roberta Matuson. Matuson's argument is that quietness has a strong link to productivity – and it goes beyond the suggestion that people who talk too much at the water cooler get nothing done. Citing 5 qualities of quietness, Matuson explains how powerful the silent workers are in any organization.
For instance, quietness strengthens focus. Instead of being distracted by conversation, office noises, the radio, or any number of other noisemaking enterprises, quiet people breed quietness around them. This helps them stay completely focused on the work they are performing, which not only helps them understand what needs to be completed, but also enhances their ability to remember the steps that led them to the point they are now, what other work needs to be done, and develop insights about the work they are performing at the time.
Matuson brings up an interesting point about what quietness allows people to do in terms of problem solving. Quiet people, she states, “tend to delve into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. Compare this to surface people in your organization, who often move onto other matters without giving thought to the gold that may be sitting right below the surface.” Indeed, great ideas and insights often come from quiet personal reflection, and quiet people generally have many more of those moments that their talkative, multi-tasking coworkers.
Does this suggest that managers and CIOs would do well to hire only quiet employees? No, of course not! But it does point out that some attention should be paid to the quiet workers in your office. While quiet people may not be vocal about the great work they are doing, you can rest assured that they are probably doing lots of it. Management must make an effort to recognize and reward the hardest workers in their company, even if that person doesn't make a peep.