Being an introvert in business can be a huge advantage, although there are a number of trials and tribulations that many introverts struggle with (to varying degrees). Here are five 5 of the problems of being an introvert in business, and a few answers. As an extroverted leader/ manager/ “boss” you’ll find this useful too.
The problems of being an introvert in business
There are a number of common problems that get listed, the first five are not in any special order. When you’re ready for the second five issues of being an introvert, click here
- Feeling mentally drained by “everyday” activities: Many people don’t give a thought to working in a group, running projects with others, networking, or simply trying to work in an open plan office. Introverts can find these draining. Managing your day by spacing these events out and planning quiet time (where you’re not available and can work on your own) can make a huge difference. Give introverts time to spend alone where they can recover their energy.
- Working in groups on projects: There are people who love the open debate, sharing responsibilities and “off the cuff” presentations. Some people may thrive on the constant interruptions and find them energising, although they are a minority (in most companies). Introverts tend to feel differently about “open” working. Manage your (or your introvert colleagues’) energy levels by allowing quiet reflection time.
- Escaping from semi social situations: They may be called team building, culture development, networking, or simply unwinding together after work. These semi social situations are (generally) liked by extroverts and don’t help introverts. Getting yourself to attend is one thing, but then having to find an excuse to get out can be even worse. How many urgent family phone calls can you have, and how do people think when you simply say I’m heading off early as I’m tired? In truth you’ll find that there are others who want to leave early too, you’ll know who they are, chat to them and leave early “en-masse”. Of course, if you’re the team leader, you might think about managing semi social situations differently.
- Worrying you don’t fit the salesperson ‘model’: The stereotypical salesperson is an extrovert who flits effortlessly from amazing one group of people to another. If you spend your time worrying that you don’t work like this, you’re going to wear yourself out and not sell as much as you need to. Introverts are as likely as extroverts to be good at selling (if not more so) but do it in a way that suits you and don’t keep comparing yourself to the “how”, just compare your results!
- Being asked why you’re so quiet: You’re probably quiet because you’ve chosen to be, until you know you’ll add value. Do you get that internal wrenching feeling when someone asks you why you aren’t saying much? It can take huge energy to reassuring others you’re OK, but not as much as pretending to be an extrovert! If you want more confidence to join in conversations, click here.
I would really appreciate three minutes of your time to understand your views of extroversion, introversion and how (if?) they affect performance in business.