Communication is key to any high-functioning workplace. However, everyone communicates differently. Understanding the value that every type of personality brings to the job is important for team leaders and individuals to succeed together.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, a leading pioneer in the introvert world.
They shared key tips and personal experiences on how introverts can succeed and use their skills in the workplace.
1. Get Your Voice In The Room
Have you ever struggled to speak up during a meeting? If so, you are not alone. This is one of the biggest challenges for introverts. As difficult as it can be, just know – your voice needs to be heard. You may find that if you wait too long to speak, someone else will have shared an idea you just had! Frustrating indeed.
In our LinkedIn Learning e-course, Speaking Up At Work, you will learn how to make sure your ideas are heard by the right people within your organization.
There are a couple of strategies you can use to overcome any fear you have, especially if you identify as an introvert.
- If an idea has come across your mind at least three times, it needs to be said and shared. If you’re worried about how it’s going to be received, you can always preface your thoughts with, “this idea isn’t full formed yet, but I was thinking….”
- Speak up within the first few minutes of a meeting. If you speak up at the beginning of the meeting, it’ll be much easier to speak later on. That’s because you’ve subconsciously warmed up your voice and primed your mind. The longer you wait, the higher the chances of you convincing yourself to not speak up at all.
- Pose a question – if you have nothing new to add, sometimes asking a follow-up question can allow your voice to be heard and show that you are paying attention. Perception is reality!
2. Assert Yourself
If you are an introvert, you find that many of the situations, whether it be meetings, company parties, and networking events are extrovert leaning. If so, consider leading a change.
If you can find ways within your company to shift how things are done and make them more introvert-friendly, you will not only be showcasing your great ideas, but you will also show your superiors that you aren’t afraid to take charge. It also shows that you are being proactive and trying to find a solution to be inclusive.
Another way to build visibility as an introvert at work is to get out of your comfort zone – start with baby steps. It can be very frustrating to develop the courage to speak up in a meeting only to have your ideas dismissed or drowned out by someone who is simply louder.
When this happens, let people know it’s not ok to be talked over all the time. You may have to use hand gestures to show that you aren’t done speaking, such as gently lifting a finger up. Or, you may need to raise your voice a bit more, or simply say, “I’m not finished with my thought yet.”
Asserting yourself may be uncomfortable, but the more practice you have the more confident you will be. You are indicating to others it is not acceptable to be drowned out. Your opinion matters, just as much as the loudest person in the room. When you speak, others should listen.
As an introvert, analyzing information and processing it can be a huge asset. However, overthinking can be a liability. Overthinking can turn into negative self-talk and it can spill into the productivity of your job.
A great way to combat overthinking and negative self-talk is to write your thoughts down objectively. For example, if you have doubts about your capabilities, draw out a pros and cons column. Sometimes seeing the words on paper can clarify what you’re thinking.
In fact, in our e-course, The Art Of Communicating, we talk a lot about breaking mental barriers and how to overcome them.
Remember, most introverts naturally think things through, which is great! But the key is to not let this inclination prevent you from taking action.
Any overuse of a strength can become a weakness
4. Building Deeper Relationships
Whether you are just starting out in your career or you are in middle management, building deeper relationships will help propel your career forward.
It’s important to think about building strategic relationships. You may dislike the idea of “schmoozing” and that’s okay, but instead, let’s think about building relationships as simply just getting to know someone. This means engaging in small talk, checking in periodically, and listening/remembering! Being known by the people who matter will set you apart.
Relationships shouldn’t only be transactional.
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Jennifer’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
If you want to learn how to communicate more confidently work with the Soulcast Media team – sign up for the Soulcast Media Membership today!