Hey, introverts! Stop trying to become an extrovert. Embrace your unique and successful qualities
I just finished reading, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and one of the key messages was to stop forcing yourself to be different by emulating extroverts. In the book, author Susan Cain describes how our culture has undervalued introverts and why that is a mistake and a “colossal waste of talent, energy and happiness.”
Did you know that nearly one-third of us are introverts? Introverts (I’m one of you) get energized by having alone time, while extroverts get motivated from social settings. It doesn’t mean that introverts can’t be successful. In fact, the list of successful introverts is long: Michael Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Christina Aguilera, Bill Gates, President Obama, Emma Watson and more.
Here are 10 habits of successful introverts that I hope can help give you the confidence you need to be yourself.
Build deep relationships
While extroverts might be more comfortable networking, introverts build deep personal relationships with friends and colleagues from a solid foundation of trust and support.
Introverts tend to be dedicated researchers and give careful consideration when drafting project plans.
Think before speaking
Before speaking or joining a conversation, introverts contemplate what they want to say and how they will say it so that it is the most productive contribution possible.
Creativity from within
J.K. Rowling developed her initial concept for Harry Potter when she was commuting alone via train. She describes the process, “I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, while all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn’t know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.”
Don’t jump to conclusions
Introverts are measured in their decision making and hiring and they take time to assess and process situations.
Know their limits
Introverts recognize their own boundaries. They ask for guidance and support when they feel like they are in unfamiliar territory.
Introverts are actually great team leaders, but they are also successful when working independently.
Since introverts have often struggled to get their true talents seen and appreciated, they are generally quite respectful of the different working styles and preferences of others.
Introverts don’t give up easily. They have practice trying to get their thoughts and voices heard over the cacophony created by extroverts.
Introverts are fantastic active listeners. They don’t interrupt, but listen carefully to extract meaning.
These are the reasons I believe all of you introverts out there should celebrate who you are! What habits do you have as an introvert that you think I missed?
Bernard Marr is an internationally bestselling author, futurist, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to companies and governments. He advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations on strategy, digital transformation and business performance. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK. He has authored 16 best-selling books, is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his almost 2 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers.