In today’s increasingly competitive workplace that emphasizes self-promotion and networking, extroverts often outshine introverts. While extroverts are highly valued, introverts are commonly labelled as antisocial, unenthusiastic, and even unproductive. However, according to Forbes, 40% of the high-powered executives and historical leaders, including Bill Gates and Ghandi, are introverts.
So, why are extroverts often seen as “better” than introverts at workplace? This is largely due to people’s lack of understanding of introverts. They key difference between introverts and extroverts lies in where they get their energy from. Introverts are not necessarily quiet and passive, but they get energy from thinking and reflecting on their feelings and thoughts alone.
Even though both extroverts and introverts are equally capable of achieving success at work, many introverts are not aware of their unique strengths or do not know how to overcome their weaknesses. If you are one of them, make use of the following tips to unleash your introvert power:
1. Take Periodic Breaks
Introverts do not fear social interaction but they need breaks to recharge their energy. Having a coffee break or taking a walk can be very helpful. If your company has a flexible work-from-home policy, you should also take advantage of it when distractions in the open office seriously hinder your productivity.
2. Make Socializing a Natural Habit
Introverts are good at building deeper and lasting relationships, but they often get overwhelmed when socializing with a large group of people. You can start building up your social network by making small talk with at least one co-worker every day. After building strong connections with a few coworkers, you will become more comfortable in large group gatherings or team bonding events.
3. Share Your Idea
Introverts often have great ideas, but they need a longer period of time to think and process. However, the longer they wait the harder it becomes to verbalize their ideas. The key here is to get out of your comfort zone: for every meeting, speak up at least once or ask a question. Keep in mind that any idea can potentially make an insightful impact or inspire another person.
4. Take Advantage of Your Strengths
While sales and business courses teach essential skills like outbound sales and pitch methods, introverts and extroverts have to play to their strengths differently. Introverts are often talented writers, creative thinkers, problem solvers, and effective leaders. They also work well in teams, because they listen well, think things through, and make careful decisions. By leveraging your strengths to the fullest, you will be surprised at how much you can achieve.
There are many other reasons why you should be proud to be an introvert. Find your own secret strengths, stay true to yourself, and shine at work!