Vocal introverts

I find it funny how people would write articles about telling introverts they are not celebrated in the workplace because of certain norms and conventions, then conclude they need to be more like extroverts to succeed. Most strategies in the article aren’t really anything about leveraging on their introversion but overcoming them. Isn’t it discouraging for most introverts to hear that.

If you really look into the examples of famous introverts that Adrian mentioned in the article, you realise they do things differently. And I’d like to share some real strategies on how to actually leverage on introversion to achieve the kind of credit-taking, self-promotion and visibility Adrian is talking about.

First, when it comes to networking and making connections, introverts are actually extraordinarily good at going deep on common interest and common points. Therefore, they need to be particularly targeted and pick up a few key questions that they can ask almost like a template to new people they mean and use those to either continue the conversation or stay quiet and disappear quickly. This is great because it allows the introvert to steer networking in a very thoughtful and directed way that reduces less useful small talk.

Second, when it comes to self-promotion. It can be subtle so much so that one doesn’t even consider it any promotion. Introverts tend to dive deeply into work and go into details – when determining critical areas where they have worked on, they can set rule-of-thumb for themselves to always be presenting them to bosses and peers. These are subject matter they are intensely passionate about and would be more confident/comfortable to share details in. Start from these areas and allow your expertise/credit to emerge naturally from that intensity.

Finally, on visibility. Introverts can be quite visible when it comes to online platforms and even taking on a different persona. So for zoom meetings where one may prefer to turn off camera, make sure you put your favourite head shot photo of yourself as display. Also, use chat function, Q&A as well as other text-based functions to be vocal if you still find speaking up difficult. Create a rule to make at least 1 comment by text for online meetings or by speaking for face to face ones. Then dial it up.

Notice that my strategies generally suggest small rule-of-thumb that is about developing a practice rather than being motivated by climbing the ladder. The idea is to focus on personal growth and doing things the introvert way rather than bending oneself out of shape.