Harnessing the Talents of Introverts — An Easy How-To Guide for Business Leaders

Harnessing the Talents of Introverts — An Easy How-To Guide for Business Leaders

When was the last time you bragged about being an introvert?

Probably, never.

We take pride in many personal qualities, but being an “introvert” is not one of them. It is usually perceived as a weakness.

Unless I wake up tomorrow looking like Sushmita Sen, most heads won’t turn when I walk into a room. I’ll never be the life of the party.

And that’s OK.

Case Studies by Susan Cain (Author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking) validate the belief that an introvert doesn’t have to become a social butterfly in order to contribute successfully at the office. (More about Susan’s book here)

Introverted people are neurologically wired to process information more deeply than others.

That includes sensory input (like noticing someone’s handwriting), emotional input (reading a change in someone’s mood) and spending a longer time thinking things through before reacting.

In a business scenario, harnessing these traits can be very advantageous.

Here are three ways of engaging with introverts that can lead to more promising outcomes. Like an Easy How-To Guide for business leaders.

#1. Be patient and be rewarded:

Speed of response is typically mistaken for expertise.

Inward-looking people spend time and energy ruminating on problems. Due to this characteristic, they usually conceive more possibilities and thought-through solutions.

If you are patient, you might be surprised by what they can deliver.

#2. Expect Better Outcomes:

Introverts tend to do better with planned meet-ups. Knowing what to expect, what is expected of them and who they’ll meet reduces their anxiety.

They also want to exit the scene at the earliest. No lingering for them.

Because of this, they will be far better prepared to meet the agenda than anyone else. And if you let them drive the meet, chances are that it’ll be a productive one.

Expect better meeting outcomes when introverts are involved.

#3. Get different perspectives

Introverts don’t have an overarching need to please.

While they don’t hesitate to be emotionally involved in a task, they avoid the sensory overload that plagues extroverts. Hence they can invest their faculties in noticing what others miss and build a different perception of things.

In short, introverts have a thriving and vivid inner life that everyone can benefit from.

No one can “un-introvert” themselves. So why cut them off if we can put their natural gift as quiet, observant people to good use?

So while the thrill of spending time by myself may never fade for people like me, it’s heartening to know that I don’t need to be the life of the party to contribute effectively in an environment that rewards me being me.

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