Introverts often talk about the issues of being introverted in business, although it can also can be a big advantage. This is part 2 of 3 – the top 15 issues of being an introvert, and a few answers (for the introvert, and their extroverted manager).
The issues of being an introvert in business
There are a number of common issues that get listed, here’s the second five (not in any special order). For the next five, click here
- Pretending to be outgoing: Whether at work, when selling, networking, or even in your private life (I’m not too old to remember the “joy” of first dates). It’s tiring and you don’t have to do it as often as you think. If you’re “the boss” you’ll get more from your introverted team members if you understand how introverts prefer some more structure and you don’t expect them to be as gregarious as other members of your team.
- Worrying you’re not a charismatic leader: We’ve all seen those people who ooze charisma, speak to the room, energise the team and get amazing results for their company. Just don’t fall into the trap of assuming that’s the only way to get results from your team. Good, structured, communication is key – but many leaders do it in a way that suits them, you don’t have to be an extrovert to be a good leader or manager.
- Dealing with negativity: You’re not negative because you’re quietly thinking things through. You’re not judgmental, aloof, snobby or conceited because you don’t get excited by small talk. However, some people have that perception. It’s even more draining when you worry it’s the perception “the others” have. A certain amount of smiling and discussion is called for and strategies for such events are available, try arranging more one to one time to talk with key people. As “the boss” consider how you can structure your team to get the most out of all of them, so they all understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Dealing with random phone calls: Many extroverts, even (especially?) when busy, get excited when the phone rings. Introverts normally prefer to maintain their focus and deal with the calls when they’re ready. My phone is on silent and in the other office at the moment or I’ll never write this article! If I was with a client, you’d not expect me to answer my phone, why not arrange the times when you will be available on the phone?
- FOMO (the feeling of missing out): Logically you know you’ve chosen this time as a quiet time, without interruptions, then you hear that your colleagues are all doing something together. It’s a pain and you can minimise it, although not totally remove it. Remember you perform best when you have energy and that does mean you need quiet time.
I would really appreciate three minutes of your time to understand your views of extroversion, introversion and how (if?) they affect performance in business.