You hear the word ‘Introvert’ and it often creates a negative perception in your mind, doesn’t it?
First and foremost, there is nothing negative about being an introvert. So then, why the negative connotation associated with it? To address this, let’s start with understanding who introverts really are.
Introverts are people who gain their energy when they spend quiet time with themselves. Extroverts are those who gain their energy when they spend time with other people.
Yes, that is the basic difference between an introvert and extrovert.
Check whether any or most the following applies to you
Get tired or start to feel drained after 15-20 (or even less) minutes of chatting with someone
Hate attending seminars because you dread talking to people during the breaks or the networking sessions
You are in a meeting with several people; someone asks a question, though you know the answer, your instinctive response is not to call attention to yourself and internally debate about how best to answer and before you know it, someone else has answered the question
When someone mentions the word ‘party’, your instinctive response is to look for an excuse to miss it.
Hate the loud music in a restaurant or at a party within a short while of being there
In your childhood days, when you had a visitor to your house, you would run away to another room and sit with your toys or your story book
You believe and know you do amazing work, but don’t want to talk about it. You want others to figure it out themselves and acknowledge your work and efforts.
Get irritated or annoyed in situations where you would have a lot of people around you (for e.g., a mall, market, at a buffet, parties etc.
If you answer yes to a few of these questions, chances are that you are an introvert.
Is there anything wrong with you? Absolutely not! That is who you are as a person. In fact, over 30% of world population are introverts.
Do you know any of the world-famous introverts? Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Warren Buffett, Marissa Mayer, Elon Musk and several others. It doesn’t end there: Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks …. the list goes on.
This list is ample evidence that being an introvert does not stand in the way of success in life.
So then, where does the challenge come up? In a corporate environment!
In a corporate environment, you are expected to collaborate with others, speak up in meetings, network with your peers, management team, customers and vendors. All these activities drain the energy of introverts. Because introverts are quiet in nature, they are often misunderstood as shy, unsociable, lacking in ideas and confidence, and hence are often ignored for leadership roles. So, introverts need unique strategies which will help them overcome these challenges and perform well.
Everyone has blind spots about their personality. Introverts need to realize that their uniqueness may hinder their growth in an organizational context. They have to be seen to be speaking up, inspiring and demonstrating sharper leadership presence. Introverts need to brand themselves better in a corporate environment so that they don’t get overlooked for job promotions.
So all you introverts out there, you have to realize the needs in a business environment and behave accordingly. You don’t need to become or even try to become an extrovert. An introvert will always remain an introvert; the same applies to extroverts. Introverts have to be self-aware so that they can learn and master unique strategies to help them perform well in the usually extroverted environment of the corporate world.
Here are some strengths Introverts have, which they can use in a corporate environment. Check out this article.
Susan Cain, the author of the book, Quiet has a quiz in her website. You may try this also.
Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation accredited Leadership and Life Coach. He is a ICF PCC and an empaneled coach with several organizations. Johncey (https://www.coachjohncey.com) focuses on Executive Leadership coaching.
Johncey has special interest and expertise in coaching introverts. He is India’s first and leading Leadership Coach for Introverts. He helps them celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching expertise to help create more leaders among the Introverts.
Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience as COO, Director, Board of Directors. He did his BE in Computer Science and then did his Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.