Have you ever been ridiculed for being too quiet? By a boss? or a Co-Worker? Or worse do you berate yourself for being too quiet? In this article, I am sharing some ways that I have dealt with my introverted personality and even used it to my advantage followed by 5 ways introverts are more powerful than you might think.
As a child, I was extremely quiet and often called shy. When new people would come to visit our home, I would run to my room and shut the door. If asked to share something in front of the class, I would speak as quickly as possible to get the experience over with. One of my teachers nick-named me, “Silent Kim.” because he had never heard me speak.
It was not until high school that I was pushed myself to be less introverted when I got a part in the high school play, fortunately my role as Sleeping Beauty, did not require very many lines. My true strength in the role of Sleeping Beauty, was in navigating the jealous feelings of my friend, who was cast as Maleficent. She was very upset that she did not get the role of Sleeping Beauty and wanted to walk out on the role. I pointed out that Maleficent was actually a better role because she would have way more lines that Sleeping Beauty and her costume was amazing. I said, that she would be great as Maleficent and no one could do a better job than her. I closed with how much fun it would be to rehearse together. My friend did make an awesome Maleficent and we had a great time doing that play.
Later at one of my first jobs, my boss awkwardly said that we were not going be able to meet payroll on Friday, because some of our clients had not paid their bills. I looked around at my co-workers faces, who were very upset but said nothing. I asked my boss privately if I could have a copy of the invoices and permission to contact each one of these clients. He said in a defeated voice, “Sure you can try.” I visited each one of these clients in person and walked back into the office with several checks so that that we could make payroll. My boss said, “Kimberly, you are the most quietly effective person I have ever met.”
The book – Quiet: The Power of Introverts
In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain shares the difference between Introverts and Extroverts. Introverts are quiet by nature and find interacting with many people to be exhausting. Extroverts are more talkative and feel energized by being around many people. Ambiverts are right in the middle. One third of people are introverts but the world (especially the Western World) idealizes the extrovert. Below is Susan Cain’s now famous Ted Talk about The Power of Introverts.
Somewhere along the way, society has gotten the mixed up message that an introverted personality is a huge roadblock for success. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, introverts account for more than a few highly successful people, including:
- Albert Einstein
- Elon Musk
- Meryl Streep
- Rosa Parks
- Steven Spielberg
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Abraham Lincoln
- Bill Gates
- JK Rowling
- Warren Buffett
- Dr. Seuss
- Steve Wozniak
Think about it, if you’re an introvert, you’re in excellent company – and you can to achieve greatness, quietly. In fact, if these introverts are any indication, some might say greatness is in your nature.
Here are 5 characteristics associated with an introverted personality that can be highly advantageous in life and in your business.
1. Intensely Self-Aware
Introverts often spend quite a bit of their time alone. You will notice this in introverted children who prefer to color or play quietly in their room. This time is often spent enjoying silence and solitude and turning your thoughts inward. This introspection often leads to incredible insights about yourself that allow you to understand how you respond to others as well as how to motivate others based on your own insights and experiences.
2. Independent Thinking
Because you tend to think things through ahead of time, you are not given to diving in headfirst or following the crowd. Peer pressure and trends are somewhat lost in you as you pursue more logical conclusions, independent of what the rest of the world, or even people within your industry, are doing.
While industries that live and die by jumping in with the latest trends might suffer from independent thinkers, those that are changing the world and creating the trends desire introverts for the free-thinkers they are.
3. Thoughtful Consideration and Insights
You’re not much of a gambler and dislike making hasty decisions. For this reason, you offer insights and input that are carefully thought out, well-reasoned, and often highly regarded by others within your industry. Some may accuse introverts of over-thinking before committing to a course of action, but few will ever accuse you of carelessness or rash action.
4. Focused and Extremely Goal-Oriented
Introverts like to dig deep when you have specific goals in mind. You tackle new ideas and research them thoroughly and completely before moving on to the next idea on your list. You also aren’t prone to wasting time with idle chit-chat or small talk. Instead, you prefer to focus on a task until it is done. That being said, you’d much rather take care of information sharing through written communications than meetings and rarely contribute much in meetings or conversations. Because you don’t overshare, your words, when spoken, often carry greater weight.
5. Amazing Listening Skills
Introverts may be sitting on the sidelines or standing in the corners, but you aren’t doing so idly. In fact, you’re paying close attention to the people around you and really hearing what they are and are not saying. This gives you a distinct advantage over people in every industry who simply like to make noise and hear themselves speak. It also helps you develop insights about trustworthy people to bring into your circle and have on your team.
These five characteristics of introverted personalities can be huge advantages you can use to achieve great success in your career and in life. If you are an introvert (like me), it’s time to tap into quiet the power of introverts and use our powers wisely.