The rise of the introvert

By on February 26, 2013
Introvert

Business has always been seen as the preserve of the big personality. However, in her new book, Quiet, Susan Cain says it’s time more thoughtful and reserved types got their due.

10 WAYS INTROVERTS CAN HELP THEMSELVES

1. Embrace your introversion: it’s not a failing.

2. Prepare: read the agenda and think through your ideas first.

3. Make contacts online and through social media before you meet them.

4. Favour one-to-one meetings with colleagues and contacts.

5. Put your ideas in writing before and after meetings.

6. Keep conversations going while you are thinking.

7. Look as if you are listening: make eye contact, nod and smile.

8. Make sure you get your turn to speak: interrupt if necessary.

9. Practise your interpersonal skills.

10. Make sure you get downtime at conferences and all-day events.

10 WAYS MANAGERS CAN HELP THEIR INTROVERTS

1. Don’t use group-work when recruiting: it favours the extrovert.

2. At big events, schedule in downtime or create an ‘introverts’ room’.

3. Respect people’s need for quiet in the office.

4. Eschew compulsory socialising.

5. Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.

6. Invite written contributions before and after meetings.

7. Don’t interrupt when introverts speak: encourage them.

8. Don’t misinterpret silence as disapproval or disagreement.

9. Remember: ‘There is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.’ (Susan Cain)

10. Don’t expect to get instant feedback.

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