Introverts tend to be misunderstood in many settings, particularly in the workplace. In a setting where you are expected to be outspoken and engaged, introverts can fall in to patterns of felling misunderstood, overlooked, or out of sync with their co-workers.
Introverts are still excellent contributors to an organisation. The typical stereotype might suggest introverts are better problem solvers, or more analytical with a focused work ethic, and the ability to think more creatively.
If the above resonates with you, but you’re still looking to dive in to the deep end of your career, here are a few tips you can use to make a big splash in a pool of extroverts:
1. Knowledge share
Introverts typically shy away from the limelight, working tirelessly in the background. But you could run the risk of not keeping your team in the loop with all of the amazing things you’re getting up to. Keep a log of the achievements you’ve had each week and don’t forget to shout about them. Perhaps you have an internal platform where you can post updates? You could share them here, on create a post on LinkedIn to talk about any recent findings or projects. This gives your organisation more clarity of what you are working on.
2. Get in to a leadership role
Despite the natural fear to approach such roles, earning a leadership position at your company can help you to establish authority in a company without having to shout loud and proud about it. Introverts tend to be more thoughtful and cautious, which can generally be good traits in a manager. So push yourself for that team leader role, so you can really make an impact at work.
3. Generate ideas and distribute them
Introverts tend to prefer the mental space to problem solve and analyse issues. Don’t hesitate to proactively look at an issue if they have been getting in the way of your work for some time. Demonstrating the ability to generate innovative ideas and solutions will help introverts win over everyone’s good graces.
4. Don’t let issues build up
Introverts sometimes are stuck in their heads – your thoughts could really eat you up inside. These are times when reaching out to others and bouncing thoughts off people can unlock an introvert’s flow and help to prevent a build-up of frustration or misunderstanding. The worst situation an introvert could find themselves in is letting stress build up to the point where they become uncharacteristically cranky or restless, which can results in others misinterpreting general reactions.
5. Prepare and rehearse for meetings and presentations
Interpersonal settings like meetings or presentations can provoke anxiety in introverts who prefer a more controlled, less spontaneous environment. The key to handling situations like this is simply to prepare. Prep ahead of the meeting, write up lists of goals or ideas you wish to convey so you can reference them in your meeting. Rehearsing and practicing can also help you to build a sense of inner confidence about your ability to successfully convey your internal knowledge to others.
6. Knowledge is power
Just because you don’t speak up as often as others doesn’t mean you are less knowledgeable, which can sometimes be a perception. Win over extroverts with jokes, unusual hobbies or more relaxed behaviour in conversations. Enforce that you do have a personality and views.
7. Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Don’t like being the centre of attention? Avoiding these situations could be doing you a disservice…
If you want to progress in your career, you’ve got to give presentations, you’re going to have to speak to your boss, and you’re going to have to explain to your employees why you are a key member to the team. you have to be able to speak confidently and articulately if you want to get ahead.
You can ease in to this. With every new challenge, practice first, and then practice again. You might never feel 100% comfortable giving a major presentation to co-workers or speaking on a panel at a conference, but practicing will make the process much easier, and you’ll stand out as a more engaged and essential employee.
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