introvert at work

Introvert Workplace

7 Career Tips For Successful Introverts At Work


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You can be a successful introvert at work if you know what game to play. Society gives the upper hand to extroverts, but the following 7 tips for career success will change your outcome:

1. Are you approachable?

Successful introverts at work are self-aware of their body language. Making eye contact, good posture and a confident hand shake go a long way in building credibility. 93% of communication is non-verbal. 55% is body language. If those stats don’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

A helpful tip for introverts is to be aware and refine the way you present yourself in work situations. Look people in the eye, stand up straight and initiate handshakes. You are approachable by being proactive in meeting/greeting others.

2. Be a great listener.

Successful introverts leverage their emotional intelligence (EQ). The foundation of strong communication is great listening skills. Listening means you care. It is the best way to show empathy towards people. Be known as a trusted confidant.

Want to succeed as an introvert at work? Make your boss look good. This happens through listening and taking instruction. You may not agree with your supervisor’s take on everything, but he/she can help you climb the corporate ladder faster than any other method.

3. Start conversations, don’t end them.

A successful introvert is social. You don’t need to be the life of the party, but also don’t be a conversation killer. Introverts are naturally great listeners so enhance the experience by asking open-ended questions. You’d be surprised how people’s perception of you changes when feeling heard.

It takes effort to work up the energy to converse, but the investment is worth the cost. An introvert at work is happiest when surrounded by people they enjoy being around. This happens when you are contributing to the dialogue. Push yourself to lengthen a conversation. It is a skill that is mastered over practice.

4. Learn to be a situational extrovert.

A successful introvert knows how to turn on the switch. For example, one of the reasons I host monthly events is it forces me to meet new contacts. Introverts exhaust more energy in social situations, but remember there is plenty of time to recover afterwards.

Here’s a tip for introverts: treat opportunities to meet people as the beginning. Instead of trying to meet as many people as you can, focus on getting to know a few people and following up later. Relationships build over time. In the moment people are only going to remember their interaction with you. If you don’t initiate conversations, you’re easily forgotten.

5. Build your network.

Expanding from my last point successful introverts invest in relationships. It is more about who you know than what you know. As an introvert at work, think quality over quantity.

What has helped me over time is shifting networking as a goal to a part of my lifestyle. It is easy to look at your network as a task, but more helpful to see it as growing your inner circle.

Some helpful tips for introverts wanting to build their network: grab coffee, meet at an event, set up a phone call, eat a meal together, go for a walk with them. Be creative with how you engage with others. Just make it a priority to do it consistently.

6. Leverage your personal strengths. 

If you want to be a successful introvert at work identify your strengths. The best way to add value to any organization is to know where to best contribute. Don’t know what your strengths are? Take the StrengthsFinder test.

Your top 5 strengths won’t disqualify you for any job. Instead they help you know “how” to optimize your role daily. Most likely an introvert at work will bring more positive attention his/her way by what he/she does, not says. You have the greatest room for growth in your areas of strength, not weakness. Figure out what you do well and do more of it.

7. Volunteer for leadership positions.

To be a successful introvert you must have leadership experience. An entrepreneur gets better by starting a business. A parent gets better by caring for a child. You become a better leader by leading others.

Leadership isn’t exclusively public speaking, charisma and titles. As an introvert at work you can be strong leader by: listening to people’s opinions, bridging the gap between conflict/miscommunication, facilitating meetings, empowering and mentoring others.

Successful introverts develop their leadership style over time. Being self-aware, knowing your strengths and building strong relationships set a solid foundation moving forward. Leadership is not a destination, but a journey. You can always learn and refine yourself. The most important part is to ask and take advantage of opportunities.

To become a successful introvert at work you have to be willing to build the skills that propel you for advancement in the professional world. Do that by stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the list mentioned above.

Career success as an introvert isn’t elusive. It’s about knowing which rules to play within the game. Have fun with it!

Let me know your thoughts and if we missed any tips add them to comments section below.

Introvert Workplace

20 Strengths And Struggles For Introverts In The Workplace


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Being an introvert in the workplace has its pros and cons. According to research introverts represent up to 50% of the population. Whether you are an introvert yourself or not, chances are a co-worker can relate to this topic.

Understanding what it is like to be an introvert in the workplace will better equip you to connect, motivate and manage introverts based on their strengths and struggles.

10 Introvert Strengths in the Workplace

Introspective

In order to understand others you first have to be self-aware. Introverts have an uncanny ability to read situations and make intuitive decisions based on intangible factors. Consider it an “inner compass” that guides your thought process. It is a sensitivity to visible and invisible factors in the surrounding environment.

Empathy

Building on introspection, introverts have the strength of putting themselves in other’s shoes. Instead of assuming everyone thinks the same way you do, introverts try to see things from the other person’s perspective. Being empathetic doesn’t mean you agree with someone else’s opinion, but do your best to understand it. Empathy is an introvert strength because most conflict starts from not being heard.

Team Leadership 

Although there is no prototypical leader out there, your relationship with your boss is the single most important factor in your tenure with your current company. Leadership is getting things done through people, yet how it is accomplished makes the biggest difference. A strength of introverts in leadership roles is their willingness to listen, take feedback and empower people to do their best work. Leaders don’t have to rule with an iron fist. In fact, that style usually never works. We all want to work for someone who appreciates and values our opinion. Introvert leaders do that well.

Independent

Collaboration is key in the workplace, but the majority of work gets done alone. Since introverts don’t have the desire to constantly need social stimulation, they can do some of their best work quietly. Meetings can be a distraction and introverts possess the strength of shutting the door to do their best work alone. As a manager, independent workers are much easier to lead.

Mindful

Another strength of introverts is their reflective mindset. Introverts take pride in their work and take responsibility seriously. They also think deeply about personal growth and how they can become better. Introverts respond well to learning and development opportunities that can leverage their natural strengths.

Process Oriented

Successful companies work systematically and an introvert strength is processing information systematically. Basically this includes evaluating how work gets done. Figuring out a way to achieve it more efficiently is important to introverts. All the time introverts spend quiet, their minds are racing. Ask an introvert their opinion one-on-one for best results.

Writing

Communication comes in different forms and one of them is writing. Writing emails, drafting proposals and blogging are some ways introverts can contribute in the workplace. An introvert strength is being able to gather an idea and communicate it clearly for others to follow.

Listening Skills

Introverts are inherently good listeners. Listening is more than hearing what’s said; the tone, intonation and body language of the speaker. Introverts take direction well then execute on it. Most miscommunication happens when people don’t listen so count on introverts avoiding this mistake from the start.

Observant

Watching others from afar is helpful because answers can be found in the details. Introverts are skilled at processing information based on what they see. Since introverts tend to be quieter in nature their actions speak louder than words. Count on introverts in the workplace to study what’s culturally acceptable, then lead by example.

High EQ

With technology on the rise, soft skills are on the decline. A strength of introverts is their self-awareness, empathy and sensitivity towards others. This trait is a summation of the list above and the foundation to empower introverts in the workplace with more responsibility. Business is always done with people and an introvert’s strength their people skills.

10 Introvert Struggles in the Workplace

Anxious

Introverts struggle with anxiety. When most of your thoughts are in your head it is bound to lead to this. Stress comes out in different ways: isolation, depression, feeling sick, etc. It is important to lend a listening ear to introverts in the workplace to avoid them feeling disconnected.

Shy

Introverts tend to be outwardly shy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t value relationships. It just takes more effort from an introvert to start a conversation. Breaking the ice by finding something in common and bringing up a shared experience can forge a friendship that breaks through this barrier.

Dislikes Surprises/Spontaneity

Last minute surprises at work are unavoidable, but with careful planning alternate options should be available. Introverts struggle with time constraints and things not going according to plan. Therefore shield introverts from situations that are chaotic and provide more structure and routine when possible. It may not be an option, but added stress hurts an introvert’s energy and performance.

Drained (Socially)

The biggest misconception of introverts is that they’re anti-social. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What is important to understand is introverts struggle with their energy level after an interaction. While extroverts are energized after a conversation, introverts are drained. To get the most out of introverts in the workplace minimize meetings and schedule uninterrupted patches of work time to prioritize deadlines.

Public Speaking

Most public speakers are extroverts, but with the right training introverts can acquire this skill. Introverts struggle on stage because of their mindset. Until you see yourself as a great orator the training and resources out there can’t help you. Challenge introverts in the workplace with internal presentations before assigning them to external meetings with clients. Public speaking is a learned skill and the only way to improve it is with consistent practice.

Networking

The thought of meeting new people and reciting an elevator pitch produces anxiety for introverts. Introverts struggle with selling themselves to strangers, yet this is a skill set that advances your career. Helping introverts reframe networking events as opportunities to connect with people and build new relationships works better. Your network is your net worth, so the earlier you build and strengthen it, the more opportunities you’ll have to choose from in your career.

Sales

Similar to networking, introverts struggle with sales because they take it too personal. Rejection is part of life and the more you tell yourself it’s about the product/service (not you), the less subjective it feels. There’s more than one way to succeed in sales, so try different methods to reach the customer’s needs. A good way tap into an introvert’s strength is to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and plan a strategy from that perspective.

Taking Initiative

Introverts struggle with taking initiative because they are always thinking about how the other person is going to respond. Initiative isn’t about predicting what is right every time. Instead it is about taking risks and not living with regrets. Opportunities present themselves for a short period and then they disappear. Helping introverts live in the moment, not dwell in the past, or worry about the future is helpful.

Over-Analyzing/Negative Self-Talk

Introverts have constant conversations in their head. The problem is analysis-paralysis. Introverts struggle with over thinking things. Constant analyzing of information is debilitating. Combine this with the tendency to be hard on yourself and it is a bad combo. Managers can encourage introverts to put their ideas on paper and move forward with action versus getting stuck in their head.

Caring Too Much What Others Think

The downside of being empathetic is the desire to care too much. Similar to co-dependency where you crave to be liked no matter what. Introverts struggle with caring too much what others think about them which leads to a downward spiral of emotions. Being liked and being respected are two completely different concepts. Help introverts in the workplace focus on earning their co-workers respect which keeps them goal-oriented.