In this world, you’re either an extrovert or you’re not.
People get the wrong idea about introverts. They think we’re perhaps a bit too shy or that maybe we just can’t keep up with rapid-fire conversations happening around us. In general, there’s an awful lot of negativity associated with being an introvert, especially in the business world.
‘How will she work as part of a team?’
‘How can he contribute anything meaningful to the conversation when he’s so quiet all the time?’
Plenty of people talk about introversion like it’s an unattractive quality and some affliction that can’t be overcome. The truth is that introverts are just fueled differently than extroverts. We’re in our own heads quite often. The quieter we are, the more we’re thinking and generating ideas. It’s not that we don’t know or don’t “get it,” but we’re just considering all avenues. It’s not that we can’t work with clients, but that we like to think about our approach first. And it’s certainly not that we hate being around others and prefer only to work alone. In fact, I find that working as part of a small team can actually boost my “introvert superpowers.”
Throughout my quest for full-time employment, I’ve had numerous occasions when my introversion seemed to hang in the air like southern humidity in mid-July. I prepare myself for job interviews by thinking ahead about what questions I might be asked, but there are always those ones that sort of sneak up on me. I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to ask if I could just think a bit about what I would do in a given scenario and email my interviewer back the next day.
Something tells me that wouldn’t go over well.
So I flail a bit, trying to make a split-second decision that it’s totally against my nature to make. I like to think about things before I speak or act so that I feel confident in my decisions, ideas, and information.
Still, if there were something I’d love to tell hiring managers, it’s that hiring an introvert is actually a great idea. Here’s why:
3 Reasons to Hire an Introvert
1. We think before we speak.
You can read stories every day where an employee says or does something that damages the reputation of the company in some way, whether it’s in person or through social media. While there are certainly exceptions, introverts are less likely to make off-the-cuff remarks or say things that can be misconstrued because it’s not generally in our nature to do so. We think about outcomes and allow that to help us choose our responses.
2. Later on, we’re still generating ideas.
Sure, it seems likely that we’ll have some ideas to throw out there during brain-storming sessions, but some of our best ideas might come to us later. The more time we have to think about something, the more likely it is that we’ll come up with creative ways to do what hasn’t been done and improve upon what has.
3. Strategy is kind of our thing.
Because we’re in our heads a lot, thinking about outcomes before we make a move, it’s only natural that strategy is an area in which we can excel. If you’re looking for someone who can weigh the outcomes of different actions and plan accordingly, an introvert might work very well for you.
On a final note, Lisa Petrilli has a great eBook that I highly recommend: The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership. If you’re interested, you can read my review here. In the book, Petrilli shares stories of leveraging her own introvert superpowers to go on to become the CEO of C Level Strategies. Her story and the lessons she shares are truly inspirational for introverts, but there’s more. The book also stands to enlighten extroverts on their introverted counterparts. If you read reviews, you’ll see that it has provided extroverts with quite the eye-opening experience. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you stand to gain something by spending an afternoon with this eBook.
Your turn: What strengths do you see introverts bringing to the workplace? Have you leveraged your introversion to find success?
Image source: stock.xchng/krilm