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How introverts can use their strengths to find success at work

One out of three people you know is an introvert and you have to look below the surface to fully appreciate their value

Introverts do not typically show people their complete selves and it can be hard to appreciate their strengths. Here we will look at the value introverts can bring to the workplace, where their key strengths lie, and some of the things introverts do not do that help to give them the edge at work.

  • They don’t enjoy small talk.

While extroverts tend to be energised by conversations based around small talk, introverts tend to get bored or exhausted by them and prefer deeper conversations.

  • They don’t crave attention.

Introverts work best when they are alone and do not generally like attention. While introverts make very thoughtful leaders, they are often overlooked for leadership roles.

  • They don’t speak before they think.

Many extroverts are eager for their turn to speak and tend to interrupt others when they are speaking. In contrast, introverts quietly listen and reflect in their head rather than thinking out loud.

  • They don’t sit at their desk all day grumbling.

The image of the introvert as a loner or misfit is constantly presented in western culture. Introverts thrive on sitting quietly thinking about new ideas and plans. They are pleased to have you on board, as long as you don’t create a noisy environment!

  • They don’t generally elicit negative emotions in others.

Work group studies have shown that extroverts actually tend to evoke more negative emotions in others than introverts.

  • They don’t patronise those they lead.

Introverts make great leaders because they listen to ideas from below. They are likely to validate and appreciate great ideas and are very unlikely to treat the people they lead disdainfully.

  • They don’t mind behaving as extroverts to network.

A lot of introverts are sociable and friendly and are comfortable networking. Introverts are low-key people, but they are not necessarily shy.

  • They don’t keep quiet about topics they care about.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts speak up just as much as extroverts; however, they only tend to do this with issues they are very passionate about or when they have something important to say.

  • They don’t behave impulsively.

Introverts are innately cautious and reflective, and pause before action. This can often be mistaken for hesitation; however, this trait is very beneficial, as it gives them time to take stock of a situation and act appropriately.

  • They don’t feel bored when working long hours.

Introverts can focus deeply on one task for long periods and thrive working by themselves in peaceful environments.

  • They don’t often miss deadlines.

Most introverts are good at planning ahead and need little supervision. As long as deadlines and goals are clear, they don’t need people to hover over their shoulders. A lot of space and clear expectations are key in getting the most from an introverted employee.

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