If you’re wondering how to succeed as an introvert, read on. Many introverts wrongly assume that introversion is a bad thing. There are many advantages of being an introvert. Introverts can focus on tasks for long periods, and they tend to be better listeners than extroverts.
Research has shown that introverted children do not become bored as quickly as their more talkative counterparts, which can make them more successful in school. These qualities make it easier for them to succeed in the workplace where they don’t need to constantly socialize and engage in small talk like some extroverted employees might need to do.
How to succeed as an Introvert in the corporate world?
As an introvert, you are more likely to get along well with co-workers because you are not trying to be the center of attention all of the time. Here are some strategies to leverage your strengths, embrace your personality type and and succeed as an introvert in the workplace.
1. Employ Some Self-Promotion
The biggest mistake that introverts make is that they are too modest. Believe it or not, you need to promote yourself to be successful!
Many introverts tend to find it difficult to talk about themselves, but learning how to do this will not only help you become more assertive, but it can give your career a boost.
When you’re networking, think of yourself as a product. If you don’t promote your strengths and what makes you different in a positive light, then why would a potential employer or client choose to work with you?
2. Speak up in meetings
The first step to maximizing your potential as an introvert is to make sure you contribute in team meetings and stand up for yourself when necessary. When you don’t contribute in team meetings, no one will ever consider your input and ideas.
Use your voice to add value to the conversation when appropriate. This way, people will learn that you have valuable contributions to make and start taking notice of them. Before jumping into a meeting, do some prep work beforehand to be well-versed in the subject and have a good take on things.
3. Don’t wait to be asked for your opinion
It is amazing how often people think they need to be asked before speaking up about their ideas. They give others full credit for their thoughts and remain unheard.
If you want your voice to matter, you need to take the initiative and speak up. Please don’t wait for someone to ask you your opinion, instead make it known through your actions.
You can also try linking ideas with others in a meeting so that your thoughts become part of the overall conversation without stepping on any toes.
4. Continuously learn new skills
Don’t limit yourself to one skillset in your job description. Learn as many skills as possible and keep growing your knowledge base. This will make you an asset, not a liability for the company, and boost your confidence levels tremendously. Moreover, this will also help you succeed at future job interviews.
5. Develop good relationships
When people get to know you better, they become more comfortable with your presence and look forward to your contributions. Remember that people evaluate you based on the quality of your relationships. This means that it is very important to make personal connections with other employees. You can also ask questions about their experiences or what they think, but always make sure to pay attention!
Be friendly and always treat everyone with respect, no matter what position they hold in the company. This will help you gain their trust and advance your career faster than you might realize.
6. Join Toastmasters
Toastmasters is a great way to improve your public speaking skills. They are an amazing and supportive group and will help you master your public speaking skills and become a better presenter. This will help you speak up in meetings with confidence and authority.
7. Worry less about what everyone thinks of you
As an introvert, the fear of being judged really holds you back. It makes it harder for others to perceive your ideas as valuable. The best way to overcome this obstacle is to learn to embrace who you are without feeling intimidated or anxious around other people.
Be authentic and confident in what you have to contribute. More often than not, the best ideas come from quiet introverts who are thinking outside of the box!
8. Practice makes perfect
Remember, the more you meet, present and speak up for yourself, the better your communication skills will get! You should put in the extra effort to ensure that you are self-assured when updating others on projects or pitching new ideas.
The more you practice, the better your public speaking skills will become and it will be easier for you to speak up in meetings with ease.
9. Use the power of Email
People often fail to realize the power of written communication. Emails are a great way for introverts to communicate because they can be prepared in advance and sent at a time when you’re feeling well-rested and composed. This will also give people a chance to review your ideas before meeting and give you due credit for your ideas.
Email also allows you to think about what you have to say before sending it off so that you don’t come across as nervous or unsure. It is easier to present your side of the story in writing, something that will work wonders for your career if done right!
10. Say what you have to say and then leave
Never stay behind just for the sake of being there. If you’re not adding value to the conversation, politely excuse yourself and leave. Leave when you are done saying your piece if you feel like there is nothing left for you to add at the moment. With this strategy, your presence in future meetings will matter, and you can be sure that people won’t take your thoughts and ideas for granted anymore!
11. Remember your body language
Your body words speak louder than your actual words. Remember to stand straight with good posture and always be interested in what others have to say. Keep your body language open and welcoming.
12. Be aware of the tone and pitch of your voice
When talking at work, be aware of the tone and pitch of your voice. Maintain a steady tone and show emotion when required while keeping the volume at an acceptable level so that people are not strained to listen to you.
This will make your contribution in meetings clear and concise, making it easier for everyone to understand what you have to say.
Try to reduce the amount of ‘ums’ and ‘aahs’ in your speech. People often use these fillers while thinking of what to say next, but this often makes them seem less confident.
13. Be honest about your shortcomings
If you are not confident about a certain topic at work, it is better to say that you are not well-versed in it. This is much better than pretending to know what you’re talking about and making a fool of yourself.
If someone asks for your thoughts, take the time to think about it before giving them an answer. This will make you seem more considerate towards others and give people a chance to reflect as well.
14. Set boundaries
One of the most important aspects of speaking up in meetings is setting boundaries for yourself. If you feel that you’re falling short of your expectations, it might be time to re-evaluate your situation and either work on making improvements or change jobs altogether. Do not settle just because it is comfortable and familiar, as that will never get you anywhere.
Don’t be afraid to say what you think, but always make sure that your thoughts and opinions are well thought out before speaking up. Doing this will help you become a better and more confident speaker and increase your self-awareness which is important for building successful relationships at work.
15. Make an effort to appear confident
At the end of the day, all your efforts will amount to nothing if the people around you don’t perceive you as confident. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever show any signs of insecurity, but make sure that your overall appearance makes people believe that you are an individual with strong convictions and opinions.
Once again, remember body language is very important in this case! For example, if you are asked for your opinion on something and aren’t sure about it, wait until the question has been answered before adding your two cents.
However, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts! If people know that they can count on you to lend them a hand or offer an unbiased perspective, they will begin to view you as a valuable team member ready to face any challenge ahead.
16. Reduce stimulations
When you have too much going on, your mind will have a hard time focusing on being calm. Look at your priorities and see whether you can cut down on anything to reduce the number of stimulations in your life.
Reducing stimulations and keeping yourself as calm as possible will help you relax and keep your focus where it needs to be: work. This, in turn, will give your brain a much-needed break from all those things that might have been causing you stress in the past, thus increasing your ability to speak up when necessary.
Don’t be afraid to cut off unimportant stuff that is wasting your time ruthlessly. You can always get out of meetings saying that you need to go somewhere or do something else if the meeting has truly become unproductive.
17. Find time to recharge
Make sure always to have some alone time so you can recharge your batteries. Every moment at work does not have to be silent and serious – the way we recharge is by doing activities that we find relaxing and enjoyable. For example, you can go for a walk outside, browse Pinterest or take five minutes to read an article. You could even use this time to meditate!
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that success comes easy to extroverts. All leaders are not loud, boisterous speakers who are comfortable in front of a crowd.
There are several benefits of being an introvert in the workplace. Introverts are often good listeners, have heightened self-awareness and can concentrate deeply. They think before they speak, which means they better understand what is required and have better answers to the challenges. Introverts are also not afraid of working alone, which makes them more focused and self-reliant.
Extroverts do get a fair share of the limelight, but with a little strategy and planning, you can succeed as an introvert and achieve your goals in the workplace, while staying true to your nature. Remember, it’s not a battle of Extroverts vs Introverts, but to find what works for you best and play to your strengths.