Succeeding as an Introvert in a Noisy World of Extroverts

9002759287_c7904c055e_nUnless people know something about you and how you work, introversion can be read as lack of interest or even lack of ability. Introverts can take charge of their talent and convey their value in powerful ways. Here’s how.

1. Be a breath of fresh air with a clear brand that differentiates you. Articulate a concrete promise that sets you apart from others (especially the extroverts). Let people know what’s special about you and your approach. For example, “In the midst of chaos, I quietly deliver superior results that fulfill key objectives.”

2. Provide proof points that demonstrate your value. Develop tangible assets that support your promise. For example, “After a long and contentious team meeting, I offered to take the ideas presented and outline a path forward. I developed a template that everyone could use and a sample of how it works. Now, instead of arguing how to do these projects, we all have a tool that works.”

3. Inoculate your boss and others so that they don’t get infected by how others work and leave you in the dust. Tell people about your intentions and how you work so that they don’t make inaccurate assumptions. You need to ask for the conditions that will enable you to succeed. Interestingly, these conditions will also improve even the extroverts’ thinking and result in fewer people shooting from the hip and missing the target. For example, “I want to contribute to the team’s success. What enables me to contribute most effectively is an opportunity to reflect on ideas and offer my suggestions. When we plan to meet about something, would you please share the topics and questions beforehand? And, where appropriate, may I request an opportunity to sit with the suggestions and come back in a timely way with some responses?”

Introverts have much to offer. Don’t wait for others to ask you. You can take charge to create the conditions in which you will thrive.

Photo by: rs snaps

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Posted in Overcoming Obstacles
1 Comment » for Succeeding as an Introvert in a Noisy World of Extroverts
  1. Greetings! As a reflective learner and borderline introvert, I love the language you offer at the end of the blog post. I can use that to set expectations about how I can make the best contribution. When facilitating, I like to ask the extraverts, who often learn by talking, to practice listening for a bit as I call on those who have been processing internally. It’s amazing what wisdom the introverts in the room can offer when acknowledged and given the space to speak.

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