It’s a common misconception that coworking spaces are always a great place to work for extroverts. If you’re an extrovert, you know that they are highly productive in coworking spaces, but sometimes those gifts and the need for social interactions can get in the way. The key to fixing this is understanding how your personality type and extroversion can make a coworking space an even better experience. Let’s look at how you can catalyze a coworking space to excel at work and bolster those around you.
Know When to Sharpen or Soften Social Opportunities
Most coworking spaces offer social activities and opportunities to chat with other entrepreneurs and business owners in the room. Extroverts naturally thrive in this environment as it satisfies the need for social interaction. This natural gift for easy social experiences can also be the source of an Achilles heel.
Eventually, an extrovert can get distracted, want to converse with others for too long, and over a week might get crunched by a deadline. If this is you, then knowing when to soften and sharpen coworking’s social opportunities is critical.
- Plan so that you know how much time each day will be allocated towards socializing, where the events are, and who’s invited.
- Block off time on your calendar strictly to participate in various social activities, but do it on days when you don’t have big projects due.
- Try cutting the length of your usual morning “meet and greets” by half.
- Pick one person in the office to have entire conversations with on one day and keep the rest short. The next day, choose someone else and so on. Organizing your social interactions this way still allows you to catch up with everyone but not waste your time.
You could even become your Hub’s social interaction expert, where you’re the person everyone comes to and talks to find out what’s new, what’s going on, where events are, and so on. Diving into this will make your extroverted soul happy and will encourage others to be a bit more social if they’ve been previously hesitant.
Keep Conversations Effective and Be a Good Listener
Keep group chats in the common areas to only three-five sentences at your end. Use non-verbal body language the rest of the time. Non-verbal body language like head-nods and smiles still allow others to feel acknowledged and appreciated. Try staying no longer than three minutes if you have a deadline, but pat yourself on the back if you can exit in five minutes.
Become the Ambassador
To eliminate any other gaps in your social needs, try becoming the advocate for new folks who come into the coworking space.
- Use your natural talent to help the new person feel at ease and welcome.
- Show them around and give them a short tour of the place or invite them to lunch sometimes.
- Encourage them in their work efforts with short bursts of your natural enthusiasm.
This assistance should only take about ten minutes (block 15 minutes on your calendars) and will only happen occasionally.
Create Your Own Procrastination Rules, Then Break Them
Like any other routine or behavior adoption, it can feel strange or even constricting to try and attempt to implement these rules. If you’re serious about being able to keep your social interactions going but don’t want to feel like you’re suddenly on an extraordinarily restrictive and bland diet or that you can’t have any fun, then pick one of the above tips and try to implement it.
If it doesn’t work, try another, and another, and another, until you find something that does work. Then try different combinations of these tips to find a rhythm that lets you be more effective at work and find the right balance of interactions with your fellow coworking members. Finding this rhythm means tossing some of these suggestions straight out the window, which is OK to do.
Coworking spaces would be boring and constrictive without the light-hearted, joyful energy of an extrovert. Your energy is needed; it just needs to be balanced for your goals and those of the community around you.