Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces: How To Unleash Everyone’s Talent and Performance by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and corporate America seems to agree. During job interviews, assertive candidates are considered more capable. On the job, these strident employees achieve higher positions of authority. They are considered natural leaders. We call them extroverts.


But what if your temperament does not match the current corporate norm? What if you are naturally more reserved and more reflective? What if you are energized by solitude rather than by being around other people? What if you prefer thoughtful one-on-one conversations rather than spontaneous outbursts in the boardroom? What if you are an introvert?

An introvert lacks the presumptuous, overconfident arrogance of the impetuous extrovert. Yet their efforts are no less persuasive and influential.

Kahnweiler backs up this claim with extensive research. She designed and conducted an Introvert-Friendly Organization Survey to gather more information about the challenges introverts are facing at work. “The results,” says Kahnweiler, “were very helpful in shaping a picture of the current state of affairs. For instance, introverted respondents were quite vocal about their dislike for traditional open-space office plans. Their comments led to questions and an in-depth interview with a major design firm that creates workspaces for introverts.”

This one example is just the tip of the iceberg. Kahnweiler believes that embracing employees with introvert tendencies is the next phase of workplace diversity.

Kahnweiler asserts that organizations must diversify the workforce to include a more diverse selection of people. Most organizations are willing, absolutely eager, to comply with these new standards of diversification, given the opportunity. Still, the area of introverted/extroverted diversity may fall short. This book offers a profound comprehension of what is necessary, in fact needed to assuage that issue.


Highlights of these diverse personality groups offer abundant motivation and credible influence to establish these norms within the workplace. Kahnweiler establishes solid interpretations of how these groups can interactively work in the corporate world. 

This book references how a little strategic planning around crafting more introvert-friendly workplaces will solve this problem.

Kahnweiler’s systemic cadence of workplace definition allows for entire departments to shift through the looking-glass paradigm into a working model of more private work areas and more public work areas to alleviate the stress caused by “too much public” or “not enough private” areas. Discussions in the workplace would benefit from encouraging management teams to read this book in order to better understand the problem and the solution.

In her book, Kahnweiler proposes very direct strategies that organizations can start incorporating today. And this includes creating an introvert-friendly hiring process, as well as ways to nurture and integrate the unique talents that introverts bring to the workplace.

I would recommend this book be used as a roadmap within corporate America to provide more inclusive workplace dynamics for all of the diverse employees who would make an organization more successful. Just as diversity makes the world go around, it gets the work done with the most successful inclusive teams of workers.

In close Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces is that perfect roadmap.

Kelly Hughes posted by Michael Rand

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