An introvert is defined as ‘someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments,’who tends to ‘feel drained after socialising and regain their energy by spending time alone.’ Often, introverts appear shy and quiet, which is part of the reason they can struggle in the workplace. Introverts may find the workplace stressful and uncomfortable due to the amount of time they have to spend communicating with groups of people, as well as the fear of group work and presentations. An introvert may also feel like it is difficult for them to succeed in the workplace purely because extroverts are more likely to speak up and promote themselves, but this isn’t true! We have therefore decided to list some top tips on how you, as an introvert, can succeed in the workplace:
1. Individual Focus
As an introvert, you are unlikely to want to spend all of your time in a big, loud group, which can make it difficult to socialise and get to know people from work.When you come across shy and reserved, it can also be easy to fall into the trap of not being involved and brushed over. Therefore, in order to overcome this, it’s vital that you focus on the importance of the individual and get to know your colleagues at a pace that feels comfortable to you.The easiest way to develop important relationships between you and your colleagues is to ask them what they’re doing and make that extra effort to check-in with them to learn about their personalities and interests. Although it may be nerve-wracking having to talk to employees one-on-one, it is easier than talking to a large group and also makes your relationships more meaningful. Understanding your colleagues on a deeper level also makes it easier for you to work with them in a professional environment. Although you may not be attending birthday parties or social occasions, you will still have meaningful relationships with your colleagues.
2. Listen Well
A great characteristic in an introvert is that they are great listeners. You should therefore use this to your advantage. Make sure you are paying attention to what is said at all times as it gives you an edge over other people. When you’re listening to someone, try and take part in ‘active listening,’ by supplying positive affirmation, looking the person in the eye and nodding or responding when appropriate. This links into our previous point as it means you can form deeper relationships with individuals!
3. Do Things By Your Own Terms
Everybody at work will have something that they are unhappy with doing, and for introverts that may be public speaking. Some job roles will require that their employees work in groups and have to give presentations. With these situations,it’s absolutely vital that you contribute, but you can do this on your own terms. For example, you may not need to take part in the final presentation, but you can still pull your weight when it comes to research or leadership. Taking a more silent route is okay–as long as you make sure you put in effort however you feel comfortable. Make sure you listen and organise the group, and then it won’t matter that you don’t physically speak in front of the rest of the business. Remember, you don’t have to be in the spotlight to be vital to a team!
4. Go for the Promotion
As an introvert, it is difficult to shy away from leadership opportunities. However, it’s important to remember that you may have the features of what makes a great leader, and you shouldn’t put yourself down and shy away from responsibility. Look at the job role, and if it’s something you feel like you could do, push for your voice to be heard–it may be nerve-wracking at first, but you deserve success as much as the next person! Remember, extroverts aren’t inherently better than introverts! Both personalities add huge values to different organisations–so don’t put yourself down. You should fight for your promotion as much as an extrovert would; you might just have to go down a different route. If you don’t feel ready to go straight into a promotion, speak to management and see how you can work towards a promotion in the future, whether that’s by taking on more work or sitting in on more meetings.
5. Be Honest
In order to be successful, it’s important that you are honest. Make sure you communicate with management if you do have any problems, and don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet a few times. If you’re shy and reserved, management might not see what you do as clear as they may see an extroverts presentations or speeches–but make sure you let your manager know.If you are completely transparent with management, they will appreciate you. Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’ if you can’t do something, so stand up for yourself. Tell your manager what you do and don’t feel comfortable, and although some tasks may be mandatory, they will understand your issues and appreciate the fact you did them anyway! It’s also a great way for you to pop in mind when a task needs doing that a manager knows you love. Every person has a different personality, and so with that different work styles. Every person has an equal chance of success!