For the members of a team to be diverse, in addition to being of different genders, ages, capabilities and experiences, there are usually differences in the ways in which people work and communicate with each other. While introverts often show logic and attention to detail in their work, extroverts connect and talk with others, building rapport among their colleagues.
The labor market is dynamic, and the competition for certain positions is increasing. Because studies show that extroverts are better at emphasizing their own accomplishments than introverts, this can hurt some qualified candidates. There are ways for introverts to be more visible in the workplace. Here are some of them:
Don’t underestimate their ideas
“The quiet ones. The Power of Introverts in a World That Doesn’t Shut Up” is a book in which author Susan Cain shows how society misunderstands and underestimates introverts, so she gives them the tools to capitalize on their strengths. In it, she encourages introverts not to underestimate their own ideas. When invited to a work meeting, not to remain silent, but to share their thoughts and contribute to the discussion. If their ideas were not really sought after and valued by the employer, they would not be invited to the meeting.
To make preliminary preparations
Between a third and a half of the world’s population are introverts. Therefore, it is important for extroverts who lead teams to better understand the ways in which they can effectively communicate with introverts, they can be the most valuable team members. For example, it is good for introverts to have clarity about the purpose of the meeting and what will be discussed. Introverts can then select questions and topics to comment on in advance and are more likely to participate fully in the discussion.
In situations that provoke in introverts a high level of stress, for example presentations in front of many and unfamiliar people, it is recommended that a person visualize the place where the meeting will take place and how it will proceed. Also, think about what could go wrong and prepare themselves to reduce stress and be more relaxed.
To eradicate some phrases from his vocabulary
Words matter, so for an introvert to be more visible in the workplace, it helps to sound confident and collaborative. For this purpose, it is recommended not to use phrases such as “I’m not an expert, but…” or “Is it clear what I’m talking about”. If asked for an opinion, an introvert should not underestimate their knowledge and expertise. If he/she asks the audience if they understand what has been told so far, he/she either underestimates themselves or underestimates the audience. It has been shown that more women use these expressions compared to men.
When they receive praise, introverts often downplay it by pointing to another contributor to the project or task. They say, for example, “(coworker’s name) actually did most of the work,” and they can take the compliment and say, “Thanks, I enjoyed working on the task. (Coworker’s name) also did great.”