by Lea Bishop, Women's Professional Network
This article is for all introverts. Introverts are known for their great listening skills and their quiet and introspective nature. They usually think things through before speaking and need solitude to recharge. They are persistent, insightful, analyze more deeply, and take more time to process outside input. When talking with someone, their intent is not to get their point across or to relate their experience. Rather, it is to really, really listen to the other person.
Introverts tend to make good leaders. They solicit and consider the ideas and thoughts of everyone on their team to effectively solve problems. This approach also leads to more collaboration and buy-in from team members. Some famous introverts include Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Barrack Obama, Meryl Streep, Abraham Lincoln, and Warren Buffet.
Our society gives more attention and value to those who are extroverts, who speak more often and louder and, for the most part, are better liked. Introverts are often overlooked in society. They are often made to feel as though they are not quite enough. They are told to do many things that are contrary to their nature. Speak up. Be more visible. Socialize more.
In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain maintains that we lose so much in undervaluing introverts. She points out a statistic from the Kellogg School that, in a typical meeting, three people do 70% of the talking. She suggests that introverts need to prepare better for meetings by speaking up early and by realizing that they will need to deal with leaving their comfort zone.
To better utilize the talents of introverts, companies need to create environments that are conducive to both introverts and extroverts. Managers need to deal with introverts by drawing them out and seeking their input directly. Meetings should be run so that input from every attendee is solicited and valued.
Introverts should learn to value their quiet natures and have more confidence in their ideas. They may need to learn some techniques to promote themselves, but they should remember that: “You don’t need to be loud to have great ideas”.
This article was based on an article written by Gini Dietrich entitled “The Value of the Leader Who Is An Introvert” (https://spinsucks.com/entrepreneur/introverts-best-leaders/ ),by the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and by my own life experiences.