Harnessing the Strength of Introverts in Your Hospital

by Rebecca on February 25, 2013

I think most people reading this blog would agree that our profession is changing a great deal.  The demographics of most new veterinarians are dramatically different than what they were 20 years ago.  It is not as simple as this, but I do believe we are a profession that is becoming more and more filled with introverts.  This is certainly not a bad thing, but many hospitals may not be set up to be an ideal workplace for an introvert.

One way you can make your hospital stand out to future team members is to brainstorm ideas that would enable introverts to be the successes they are capable of being.  This idea was birthed after spending a lot of time in a hospital that is very volume driven and is also a very small workspace.  There really is no personal space in this hospital.  Working in this hospital every day would drive me absolutely crazy, and I am not even someone who would be considered an introvert.

Here are some ways (though I am sure there are many more!) that you can make your hospital more appealing to introverts:

Create consistent work teams.  I think this can be life changing to all of your team members.  Many larger hospitals work together in teams, which is great, BUT a lot of these teams change every day.  Instead, as schedules allow, put your veterinarians with the same support staff each day.  It is just a fact of life that some people are going to work better with some personality types versus others so why not embrace that fact and have consistent teams as much as you possible can.

Create a small space where people can go and recharge their batteries.  Now, please don’t think that this is completely crazy. One thing that is very refreshing to introverts is to be able to step away from the chaos and have some down time to refresh and recharge.  This may be quiet room or a small outdoor area where people can step away when they are able to quiet their mind and have time to think.

Getting input at team meetings. One thing that can be a challenge for introverts is to speak their mind during group meetings.  They are very good at this one on one, but in a group setting, it can be a little overwhelming.  One suggestion would be to set the expectation that input is wanted from everyone and then give them the agenda ahead of time and let them know that their input is valuable.

Often, introverts take time to ponder and think about things before speaking.  The additional time you give to introverts to think and not be put on the spot without having time to prepare, will likely lead to some of the best ideas generated from your meeting.

Don’t dismiss the quiet leaders.  There are plenty of great leaders in most animal hospitals, yet often like many businesses, it is usually the most vocal team members (more extroverted) whose ideas get brought front and center.

Not only will these strategies be helpful to those more introverted on your team, but also I believe they are strategies that would be beneficial to all of your team.

I know there are probably a ton more ideas you have about how to harness the strength of introverts.  So introverts, please speak up!

Do you agree that these would be beneficial strategies for introverts, and what other ideas would you like to share?

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