Recognize the Passionate Introverts on Your Team…

Many of us mistakenly associate extroverted behaviors with passion, an assumption that can lead to unfair and counterproductive outcomes. Here’s how managers can take proactive steps to prevent this bias from harming more introverted employees.

First, invite people to share how they prefer to express their passion. Be sure to avoid judgmental reactions. Their style may not be intuitive to you, but it’s your job to recognize how they express themselves, regardless of whether it conforms to stereotypical expectations.

Then work with employees to bridge any gaps between their expressions and your perceptions. For example, if someone shares that they’re not comfortable with big, public displays of passion, invite them to share it through other forms of communication, such as written reports or one-on-one chats.

Finally, reward passionate performance—not performative passion. Whether you’re conducting a performance review, assigning important work, or giving promotions, raises, or bonuses, make sure you’re basing your decisions on meritocratic measures of performance. Doing so isn’t only fair to your employees—it’s fair to your organization.

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