3 Tips for Introverts to Shine in an Extroverted Work Environment

Network! Share ideas! Speak up!

If you’re an introvert, these workplace buzzwords can be daunting. Unlike extroverts, who feel most alive when they are around lots of people, introverts gain their energy from being alone. They recharge when it’s quiet, which can be a challenge in work environments that are open, fast paced and loud.

Although modern offices and their open floor plans are geared toward extroverts, it’s still possible for introverts to thrive. Here are 3 essential tips to navigate the workplace and still find quiet moments:

  1. Target Your Talents:

Don’t be shy when it comes to your strengths! You should embrace them, especially since there are natural talents correlated with being introverted. According to Susan Cain, author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts, people on the quiet side have a creative advantage. These people are “persistent, diligent, and focused. Give them a difficult problem to solve, and they’ll work harder and longer than extroverts,” she says. As an introvert, target your unique talents by raising your hand for creative projects. If writing comes more naturally than speaking, use it to your advantage. Social media offers powerful ways to build your brand and your network: all through written communication.

An introverted personality can go a long way in leadership, too. Famous figures such as Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt and Bill Gates prove that you don’t need to be the loudest to be heard. Hone in on your natural ability to analyze situations, offer insightful advice, and listen.

  1. How to Tackle Meetings:

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Unlike extroverts, introverts need a bit more time to collect their thoughts. Preparing in advance can help calm your nerves and organize ideas. Instead of “winging it,” try writing down key points or problems you’d like to address. If it’s natural for you to sit quietly and listen during meetings, try taking notes. This will allow you to further develop your insights and provide a balanced perspective. You’ll feel invested and organized when you take the time to prepare.

  1. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone:

The most tiring situations for introverts don’t always happen between 9-to-5. Cocktail parties, networking events, and social commitments can seem overwhelming for someone who gets their energy in solitude.

It’s important to catch up with colleagues after work and mingle with clients, so take a chance and put yourself out there. In the office, make a daily ritual of connecting with co-workers. Scheduling time during the day to say hello to new people can foster and maintain the relationships you need.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, take breaks to get some peace and quiet. Step outside, take a short walk, or just stop for a moment and breathe. Strategies like these will help you find time to recharge and de-stress. The most important thing is to be yourself.

 

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