Did you know that some of the world’s most famous and celebrated personalities say they are introverts? Hollywood director and producer Steven Spielberg has said he is an introvert as has Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
What is an introvert? People with an introverted personality type tend to avoid large social gatherings and events. They’d rather spend time alone or with a group of close friends or family. They might even feel tired if they have to socialize outside of their immediate circle.
It’s commonly believed that good leaders are extroverts because they are outgoing and sociable. But good leadership doesn’t rely on a single personality type. Great leaders can also be introverts. They use their powers of observation, great listening skills and attention to detail to lead their teams to success.
Many great leaders and pioneers say they do their best thinking alone. They enjoy their own company and find that they get their best ideas when they’re alone.
Let’s look at the characteristics of an introvert and see how you can inculcate some of these traits for a well-rounded personality.
The Power Of Introverts
Someone with an introvert personality type can observe details closely, think deeply and listen well. Introverts are a great addition to any workplace because of their intuitiveness. They avoid impulsive decisions and prefer to assess a situation before reacting. This trait is particularly helpful in a crisis.
Here’s an example:
Say you and a colleague get into a heated argument about your workload. You feel you’re being treated unfairly because your manager is dumping most of the work on you. You approach your manager—who is an introvert—and ask her to address this issue.
She takes the time to listen to both of your stories. She asks questions and comes up with a win-win solution after she’s understood the situation.
Introverts are great negotiators and peacemakers when it comes to workplace conflicts. They’re likely to listen to other people’s opinions and problems without judgment.
The power of introverts is often overlooked because they keep to themselves. Let’s explore some of these qualities of an introvert in more detail.
Qualities Of An Introvert
Introverts have a great number of unique characteristics that distinguish them from others. If you possess any one or few of these traits, you may already recognize yourself as an introvert. But if you don’t, embodying some of them can help you with your professional development. Each of these traits can be learned with practice and coaching.
Here are some common characteristics of introverts:
Introverts are known to be excellent listeners. Introverts in roles like counseling, human resource management and team leadership possess active listening traits that can help build team morale. They’re also great at receiving feedback and implementing it to improve their performance. This is especially beneficial in a client-facing role. If you’re dealing with a difficult customer, listening to them will help you keep the situation under control.
Introverts think before they make decisions. They analyze every detail, account for feedback and do what’s best for everyone on the team. An introvert will not make decisions without careful consideration. They take their time to process everything they know and make an effort to find out more if needed. Introverts also think deeply about the larger questions. They are happy to spend hours practicing and perfecting their skills and craft. Some of the most famous artists, writers, musicians and scientists were introverts.
Being deep thinkers, introverts take their time before making a judgment about someone or something. If someone makes a mistake, they’re more likely to try and find out the reason instead of immediately blaming them. When you’re working in a team, this can help you build strong relationships with your team members. Thinking objectively is a critical skill in a professional setting. Being non-judgmental helps you prevent your personal biases from standing in the way of your decision-making.
Avoid Office Politics
Introverts avoid office politics and prefer to stay out of conflicts if they can help it. They don’t get involved in other people’s lives. If you have a fight with someone and want to badmouth them to an introvert, chances are they will lose interest in the conversation quite quickly. Introverts aren’t very fond of engaging in office gossip or anything that isn’t directly related to their work. Managers benefit from this trait as it helps them interact with their team without any preconceived ideas.
Introverts are quiet, peaceable and thoughtful. If you prefer spending time with fewer people and having long, deep conversations to small talk with strangers, you may have some traits of an introvert.
What We Can Learn From Introverts
You don’t have to change your personality type and suddenly become introverted if you are not. But you can work on developing some of the traits of an introvert. These will help you in your workplace and life.
Here are some traits that you can work on:
Practice Active Listening
Next time someone is speaking to you, try to keep your interjections to a minimum. Ask more questions so you can understand them better. Welcome their words, assess their meaning and pay attention to their body language. Show the speaker that you’re available and very much a part of the conversation.
Introverts read a lot–and it’s not restricted to just fiction or short stories. They read everything from news articles and blog posts to nonfiction and testimonials. Try to cultivate a reading habit because not only will it improve your language skills but it will also teach you about different perspectives. You’ll learn to look at things objectively and think critically about them.
Think Before You Act or Speak
Before you jump into a conversation that’s not meant for you or pass judgment uninvited, take a moment to think about it. Most of the time, you won’t even feel the need to say anything at all. This is a great skill in the workplace because it will help you avoid conflicts and hostility with your coworkers. Sometimes, it’s more prudent to take a step back and think instead of making impulse decisions.
Learn to Spend Time Alone
This is probably the key trait that is unique to introverts. If you can learn to spend time with yourself, you’re less likely to feel upset or dejected when you don’t have someone’s company. You learn things about yourself and you can figure out what you want in life. You don’t always have to rely on your friends or family to stay with you. If no one’s available, you are comfortable just being by yourself.
Developing some of the qualities of an introvert may open doors to new opportunities. You can build a rapport with your team members and develop the ability to think critically. A mix of personality traits makes someone adaptable to different situations. Whether it’s working from home alone or attending a social event, you can thrive in any setting if you put your mind to it.
Introverts may be quiet, but they’re not necessarily shy. They may not enjoy social engagements, but they still manage to have an active social group. It’s just that they’re more aware of their choices and aren’t afraid to take time out for themselves.
Harappa Education’s Interpreting Self course will help you develop these skills. The tools and frameworks in the course will enable you to cultivate self-awareness and identify your strengths. The River Of Life exercise in particular will help you reflect on experiences that have shaped your life. The Johari Window tool can help you identify your blind spots. Sign up for the course today!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the COLLABORATE Habit such as Building Relationships, How to Build Rapport, What is Teamwork, Extrovert Personality & Ambivert Personality and build strong professional networks.
Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation