The trials of being an introvert in business can be draining, although being introverted can also can be a big advantage. This is part 3 of the top 15 trials of being an introvert, with some answers (for the introvert and their extroverted manager).
The trials of being an introvert in business
There are a number of common issues that get listed, here’s the second first five (not in any special order). When you’re ready for the second five issues of being an introvert, click here
- Worrying you’re not good at thinking on your feet: You’re given 10 options, very little information and expected to choose while 3 other people are talking to you about something else and both your phones are ringing, while you prepare for a meeting. That doesn’t mean you’re no good at thinking on your feet, it means prefer to think about things properly. One common introvert trait is wanting to think things through, an extrovert will more happily respond as part of conversation. Consider the quality a decision made in the way I described above, it’s rubbish! Refuse to decide like that, use your strength of thinking it through quietly (or delegate). Certainly, don’t worry that you can’t think on your feet.
- Frustrations about underselling yourself (again and again): You see, or more likely hear, others ranting about how good they are, despite knowing that you’ve done a better job? That’s common for introverts, worse is if they get the recognition and you don’t. You can help by using your strengths to help the organisation (if you’re a writer, write; if you can speak well, speak or facilitate meetings), you are more likely to be a good facilitator than an extrovert. Don’t be modest – what are your strengths?
- Feeling ignored, marginalised, or misunderstood: This is often why introverts are perceived as aloof, snooty or rude. If you’re feeling ignored it’s hard not to behave (just a little like) a spoilt child! Use your strengths in discussing things on a one to one basis with people that matter to you, increase the circle of colleagues that know you.
- Worrying you don’t have the social network that helps others get ahead: Chances are you have a very different network of supporters to some of the people you’re comparing yourself to; you probably know more people in more depth than your extroverted networker that goes around telling everybody how good she is. Work on a one to one basis to build your network and ask to go to lunch (or meet) a decision maker periodically. You’ll build your support base because you research, listen and help others.
- Not being the stereotypical introvert: As an introvert you can (or have) learnt strategies to adapt to a world that expects extroverted behaviour in business. You might even have taken up public speaking and running events; although it can be frustrating when people tell you you’re not an introvert because you do these things (actually most good speakers I know are introverts).
Introverts in business
This website focuses on introverts in business for a simple reason, it often seems that modern business is designed for extroverts. This means that it’s harder work for an introvert to get on, or be heard, in a business. The problem with this is that the business misses out as a whole, due to the different perspective that introverts can bring. This is something that extroverted business leaders would be wise to understand, so they can improve their overall business.
I would really appreciate three minutes of your time to understand your views of extroversion, introversion and how (if?) they affect performance in business.