Quiet/Introvert — How do we deal??

In a previous life I was a HR professional and I am now a Personal Coach. I have an absolute affinity with introverts, the shy and quieter folk and I help these awesome humans to apply themselves in a way that results in maximum benefit, in a professional (and any other) capacity; especially where awkwardness, anxiety or low self-confidence is experienced.

I’m also a proudly introverted person. Party over here!!….Let’s face it. I’m an introvert; my ideal party would be in my bedroom.

Honestly though, introversion is a deliciously invaluable tool in my kit of armor (otherwise known as my characteristic makeup), which I revel in when I have the opportunity. However possibly like yourself, I do not always have the option to indulge, especially in my professional life where, excluding my client base, I mingle and network with the very loudest of them all.

In this capacity, if ever my introversion comes up in conversation, it’s because I’ve revealed this information; not because it is so obvious that others can perceive it, even my fellow introverts. I believe that this is because in a world that appears to lean increasingly towards extrovert tendencies, I have learned the ‘ways’ of extroversion and, in situations whereby this may be required for a determinable amount of time, the ability to cloak myself in this disguise. I ensure that my introversion works for me.

I do appreciate that for us quieter folk, team and group functions/exercises can be especially difficult, without the techniques, strategies and mindset required manage and ensure success within these situations.

An example.

Have you ever been in a group meeting/discussion where you have made (what you believe to be) a well-informed statement or proposal, only for it to be ignored and when someone else makes THE SAME proposal/statement, it is snapped up in the form of a standing ovation??

In my past, I’ve experienced the above and I tell you, during those moments i was so tempted to pull from my unconscious mind the skillful moves displayed in those Bruce lee films my Dad used to watch, and just dish out a few ninja chops to the culprit(s). Then I regained my senses and remembered that I wouldn’t fare too well in the penitentiary.

I recently ran through the above example with Sarah M, a Director at a UK talent management firm and self-confessed brazen extrovert. Sarah’s response was that she would have immediately halted the discussion taking place and referred directly to the person/people who had overlooked her suggestion with “I’m sorry, that was my idea, I actually said that earlier. Did you not hear that I had actually said the same thing earlier?” ……Que the googley-eyed emoji. That type of response is just not in the DNA of an introvert. Many of us would simply remain quiet and burn silently with the injustice of it all.

What I’m trying to say is that, in my past, the struggle to assertively articulate myself within group sessions caused some frustration and I have had to consciously apply techniques to overcome this; an example being to apply my skills to listening, reflecting and questioning. I note that such skills are priceless and I coach to this effect.

Peace, love…and the love of quiet.

Disclaimer: my blogs do not represent the views of ALL introverted, shy or quiet individuals, however many can relate!