Managing an Employee With a Different Communication Style

I looked over and noticed my intern updating the spreadsheet that was meant to be a back-burner project — on an afternoon when we were pushing up against two major deadlines. When I asked if she’d completed her work on the other assignments, she looked at me with bewilderment.

That’s when I learned that if Jane didn’t receive an assignment in writing, to her, it didn’t exist.

It was my first experience supervising interns, and it was a crash-course in managing people with different communication styles. In an article in Social Science Insights, Zuleyka Zevallos explains the difference between extraverts and introverts: There are people who work through a scenario by thinking out loud, and people who like to process the situation for themselves before giving their take. Within this context, I find it easier to understand how an employee could say he understands a project during an initial meeting — but later, evidence through his work that he missed significant parts of the assignment. Or, how an employee who responds “Got it!” to your email can then spend the next hour walking up to your desk with questions.

Read the rest of my latest Mashable article here.