Tips around making yourself seen and heard by others such as asking questions, greeting people as they arrive, and bragging with tact.
- Introverts make up one-third or even one-half of the world's population, but looking at most work places, you'd never know it. Open floor plans, meetings, working lunches, networking events, noise, interruptions, and conversations seem to rule the day. You need to take care of your inner introvert in this very extroverted world. When was the last time you gifted yourself with a solitary retreat.
When I spend time alone and in quiet, I come back to work almost eager to embrace the chaos. I honor my introvert during airplane travel. I'm that passenger who pops in the earplugs and never even makes eye contact. Once the guy next to me tapped my shoulder and then pointed. I wasn't even plugged into anything. Oops, busted! I just wanted some silence. Do you schedule downtime between meetings? When I have back to back meetings, I make sure I walk alone from one to the next.
If colleagues ask, "Hey, you want to walk "to the conference room with me?" I come up with some reason to lag behind and say I'll see you over there. How often do you work alone and in quiet? Maybe you move to a library or other uninterrupted space on days when you need to focus intently on a problem. Fuel up on silence and solitude so when you are with people, you're recharged and ready to be social.
When you schedule meetings, choose quiet calm locations that don't agitate our sensitivity to stimuli. A noisy coffee house will drain you faster than a quiet meeting room. A brightly lit room will drain you faster than a more sedate environment. Conserve your energy for the conversation. And sometimes, we just have to stretch ourselves.
Networking events are an introvert's nemesis, but I owe many great opportunities in my career to my connections so I know I need to go to these events. These tips help. Go to every networking event with a clear goal. For example, I need to meet at least three people who've never watched a LinkedIn learning class, tell them about my courses, and then I can go. Get to events early when not many people have arrived.
Entering a crowded room is too intimidating, but if I'm already in conversation with a few people and the room starts to fill around me, I'm okay. Get in line. I go to the busiest food table or vendor booth and chat people up who are also waiting because that's easier than having to mingle. Have your conversation starter questions in mind. If these are strangers, you might ask, "What kind of work do you do?" Or, "Who has been your favorite speaker at this conference?" And finally, attend networking events with an extrovert.
Going with Tatiana transforms networking for me. Her enjoyment of all the conversations and movement and noise is contagious. So carve out silence and solitude. Choose quiet calm locations and still push yourself to do some networking, but with your own introvert-friendly approach.
- Knowing yourself
- Inward vs. outward
- Being vs. doing
- Stretching the introvert
- Making decisions
- Influencing and leading others
- Stretching the extrovert
- Multitasking mindfully
- Networking strategically