Mentorship August 3, 2016
Introverts. We are the quiet ones. We are the women at parties who tend not to speak during presentations and the women who hang back when everyone else is the office is chitchatting. We are the listeners, the thinkers and the women who would prefer a cubicle than a crowded work space.
Alas, we all must earn a living.
Despite our personalities, we still have to propose ideas and work actively with other people. As an introvert, that can be uncomfortable, if not downright frightening. But, don’t worry! There is hope. Here is a guide for us to not only survive in the workplace, but to thrive.
The two keys to excelling in the workplace are to acknowledge your strengths and then to implement them. Introverts tend not to speak unless spoken to. We like to sit back and let the louder voices speak for themselves. Although it might not seem so, this can be profoundly advantageous. Listening instead of speaking allows you to have the opportunity to mull over the situation at hand, the opinions and ideas of others and your own opinion before speaking. This way, when you do decide to speak, you will have a well-thought-out idea to present to your peers.
Another strength of the introvert is the power of thinking. The mind is the most powerful weapon a person can possess. Because of the introvert’s tendency for self-introspection, we constantly try to improve ourselves and design solutions in our minds. Unlike our extroverted counterparts, we don’t necessarily need to speak in a group or bounce ideas off others. As long as we have some quiet time to think, we’re set. That being said, find some time to be alone in your work space to recharge, whether that means going outside for a few minutes to think or listening to music to refocus.
Because of our superb listening skills, introverts also tend to be very compassionate. We are often sought out to talk to because we listen to others. After hearing someone’s woes or joys, we tend to grow sympathetic towards them because we understand the importance of those inner thoughts. We take them to heart and they resonate with us. As this person in the workplace, you have a mighty advantage. You are much more capable of understanding your coworkers and that will improve communication with them. You will begin to understand what they are saying with a fined-tuned ear and be able to more accurately assess what is being said and how to truly improve a situation.
Mixing all these strengths together provides a fascinating recipe to thrive in the workplace. The result? Become a leader. I know that can be the scariest thing an introvert can hear. Become a leader and have to talk to people every day and tell them what to do and what I want and think? That’s crazy!
But is it really? What are some components of a good leader? Compassion, understanding, clear thinking and the ability to remain composed. These are all characteristics introverts naturally have! As long as you conquer the fears of speaking up and being in the spotlight, there is no stopping any introvert from succeeding.
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