Introverts are typically seen as quiet, reserved, or shy. More often than not, they’re portrayed in media as wallflowers who couldn't go through a single social interaction even if they wanted to. However, that isn’t always the case. Not all introverts are shy; not all introverts have social anxieties.
Even in the workplace there are introverts. And if you’re looking to further your career by being an excellent employee, you best better learn from them. Here are some insights you can glean from your introverted co-workers.
A well-formed idea is incredibly valuable
Notice how introverts most of the time are quiet? Even in meetings, you’ll only see them sometimes take notes or listen intently. When it’s their turn to speak or after the meeting, on the other hand, they’ve intuited something great you’ve never thought of. For introverts, it’s important to think first before speaking not because they don’t want to be rejected but because it’s a waste of effort to say useless prattle. Every idea counts but only the good ones matter.
Listening is as important as speaking
Quietness has always been an introvert’s main weapon. They think first before they talk because they deeply listen to what people say. Sometimes, in social situations—such as when someone’s ranting or
disappointed—you don’t need to give comments or suggestions. You can just listen, understand how they feel, and empathize. Letting them vent what they feel can already be a therapeutic action; being
there for them certainly helps.
Play to your strengths
There’s valuable independence that comes with being an introvert. They’re incredibly low-maintenance, able to do what they need to do without the need for anyone. According to Peter Vogt from careers company Monster, introverts tend to be “patient, persistent, focused, and methodical,” especially when it comes to research and projects, as long as you give them space to do so. That’s because they play to their strengths—their often-untapped logical thinking and creativity. You know what your skills and abilities are, use it to your advantage; as long as you have a workplace that fosters growth, you can play to your strengths.
Office politics won’t do you any good
Introverts aren’t the kind to do unnecessary socialization, but they can make friends or interact with colleagues from other departments if they can. This plays strongly on their end, as they don’t get swept by what people say. They have good intuition, so they judge a person based on their interactions with them, not by what people say. And you should, too; office politics and idle gossip won’t do you any good. Judge a person based on their character, not by what the secretary from the other department
Recharging is very important
Introverts know the valued importance of alone time. After all, it’s how they recharge their “social energy”. Finding the time to get recharged and energized will help you in the long run. Maybe you’re more into having beers with your co-workers after your shift. Or you like to just get home as early as you can and watch the latest episode of the series you’ve been following. Do what unwinds you; do whatever floats your boat.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Introverts can aptly be described the same. Observe them and gain insights from them. Befriend them and you’ll gain a good friend. Underneath all that quietness is a calculating yet creative mind and an empathetic heart.