Introverts sometimes have a rough time of it. In the office, those who speak loudest and smile the most tend to get the plum assignments. By the time you methodically gathered your thoughts about why you are the best person for the job, Bob The Office Smile Guy not only shot from the hip and landed the job, he also traded quips with the boss.
Enjoy parties? Me neither. I always prefer a quiet evening at home, but sometimes you HAVE to go out. Think of the office party. You MUST go in order to be seen as a team player, but as the music gets louder along with the voices, you find yourself sneaking outside for a Silence Break.
All’s not lost, however. Even though we find the world draining because people won’t stop talking, we are not the lesser for it. As introverts, we can learn to function and succeed quite well on this loud planet. How so? You might ask. I found a few answers for you right here, in the Help Files issue for introverts.
Office environments nowadays seem designed to kill introverts. In the effort to lower costs, many companies are doing away with private offices and partitions. “Open Door” policies don’t carry the same punch they used to because office doors are dying out, along with offices themselves. Cubicles, once dismissed as crass, are now thought of fondly by workers who arrive at the office to find them replaced by open areas that offer zero quiet space to get any serious work done. So what is an introvert supposed to do? Glad you asked, because John Boitnott has a few answers for you, and they don’t include getting a new job!
When I get invited to an event, be it a wedding or a happy-hour gathering, I react initially with… PANIC! I tend to not do very well in groups greater than five. I can handle larger groups if I know the people, but I still fade into the background as the more extroverted personalities take over. If you see me with a large group, I’ll be the wall-flower. But it doesn’t have to be this way, according to Katherine Schreiber. Her post on Greatest.com advises you to take time for breaks (I already do this), for instance. For the others, read on.
According to myths in mainstream business media, extroverts have a lock on business success whereas introverts like me are mere also-rans. Not so, according to an answer posted by Joseph Kennedy on Quora. Kennedy sums up five reasons introverts can succeed more easily than extroverts. One, we are better listeners, is true enough in my experience. For the others, read his post.
Sure, extroverts radiate confidence and endless energy. Introverts do not. However, according to Andrew Thomas’s post on Inc.com, we possess an essential skill most extroverts don’t — The ability to listen patiently. Read Thomas’ post to learn more about the business situations where you can apply your powers of listening and succeed.
Hate small talk? Me too. I prefer the deeper stuff, but sometimes you just can’t avoid stopping to chat, as with a friend you bump into at the grocery on Sunday. Even in a momentary chat, however, you can bring your powers of introversion into play. Jennee Rasavong’s post on Lifehack describes 12 situations perfect for introverts.
Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.