Mentorship December 15, 2016
So, you’re an introvert — the type of introvert where large crowds make you cringe and large parties just doesn’t sound like an appealing way to spend your night. And let’s not get started on public speaking.
But with all that, we also know that being an introvert doesn’t mean that you are just shy. It’s much more than that. Being an introvert means that you’re most comfortable being in smaller groups and that alone time is crucial to your productivity. You can probably manage the size of your social life, but when it comes to the workplace, it can be an introvert’s worst nightmare.
The key to success in a work environment? Using your introvert qualities to your advantage. Here’s how you can do that.
Since introverts have their best ideas when they are by themselves, try to carve out either your office or a quiet area for retreat that is just to yourself. Workopolis suggests covering your workspace with “plants, put up pictures of loved ones, whatever you need to bring you peace and make you feel like you’re in your comfort zone.”
In addition, if you have great ideas when you’re at home alone, write them down and use actual office hours to implement those ideas.
Group brainstorming or group feedback sessions might not be your best place to shine. If that’s the case, make appointments with your boss on a monthly basis to go over your work progress, ideas you’ve had or any feedback you have been collecting. This allows your voice to be heard in a setting that is most comfortable for you.
If your boss likes your ideas, he/she might move them along in group sessions which will allow you to take over the wheel more easily. If once a month appointments with your boss aren’t feasible, sending emails always works as well.
When people come by your desk too much or ask if you want to grab lunch with the team when you would much rather just hang back, blame it on your work. Say you have too many projects work to catch up on. This excuse will also make you a more productive worker with fewer distractions – so it’s a win-win on your behalf!
Introverts are great listeners. Use that to your advantage in the work place. Listening is a really sought after trait that most bosses and upper level management look for in their employees. Don’t discredit this quality! In a group meeting, use your listening skills to really take in what your boss is saying. Later, send an email that showcases that you picked up on the content being discussed and detail perhaps a suggestion or idea related to your boss’s talk.
If you do need to work in a group, be smart about it. Choose others that you connect to and work well with and keep the group small. This will help you work at your best productivity level.
Instead of focusing on all of the situations that make you uncomfortable at work, focus on all the situations where you completely rock. By focusing on what you are successful at, you’ll be rising in the ranks at work instead of falling into the background of a large, extroverted group.
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