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The introvert advantage – skills introverts can use in the workplace

The Introvert Advantage – Skills Introverts Can Use in the Workplace

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    Sep 05, 2015   Author : admin

Posted in: Bulletin

Much has been written about introverts in the past. Arguably, author, speaker and lawyer Susan Cain started the upsurge in the discussion on introversion and the qualities of people with this personality trait.

In short, according to Cain, introverts, “… may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a fear of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

Although much as been written about their social skills and lives, introverts also have many skills that can be assets in the workplace.

They are Deep Thinkers

Introverts tend to be deep thinkers; preferring pondering over ideas to blurting out whatever first comes to mind. They may take longer to put their thoughts together and articulate them, but when they do, those ideas will invariably be thorough and thoughtful. Due to the fact that introverts like to think, deliberate and work independently, many of them are intellectuals such as artists and writers.

Susan Cain, author of the bestselling book Quiet, used her introverted personality to her advantage as a lawyer on Wall Street. "The popular stereotype of attorneys is of bold showmen who take courtrooms by storm. However, the best lawyers in my firm were deep, careful thinkers, who had a natural tendency to think through the ramifications” says Cain.

They work well collaboratively and independently

Introverts, by nature, tend to be more hesitant in situations that involve voicing one’s opinions. Unlike extroverts, who have a tendency to monopolize conversations, introverts can be powerful team members. Although an introvert may be misunderstood in a team setting as being antisocial and disengaged, the opposite is in fact true. If given time to respond, they can contribute effectively to a team or group. When not in a team setting, introverts thrive in autonomous working environments with few interruptions. They don’t need to be – and prefer not to be -- constantly surrounded by crowds and conversation in order to be stimulated.

They spend less time fraternizing

If left to their own devices, many introverts would prefer eating lunch alone, sitting at their desks and focusing on their work all day, as opposed to chatting by the office water cooler and spreading office gossip at work get-togethers. Introverts find talking to an endless number of work colleagues to be a drain on their social energy. Thus introverts tend to be much more intentional about the relationships that they form in the workplace and value meaningful conversation over chitchat. This can be seen as an asset in the workplace, where the object of the day is to…well…work.

They Take Time to Decompress, Rejuvenate, Renew and Recharge

Since introverts find social interaction to be draining, they have a natural tendency to withdraw and rest, either by retreating to their desk, a bathroom stall or reading a book under a tree during the lunch hour. This type of social withdrawal can prove healthy in a noisy world that is always talking and placing demands on them and others. Taking time to refocus the mind is crucial to maintaining productivity and well-being in the work place and in life. They use this time of retreat to conjure up creative solutions to problems and be inspired from within.


Image: | MYC Writer: Simone M. Samuels

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