All hail the introvert! On World Introvert Day, we figured it would be fitting to include three workplace tips for quiet folks at the office.
According to a piece on Huffington Post, there are a few pointers to keep in mind.
1. Find spaces for solitude. According to Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, a noisy and distracting environment can become stressful for introverts.
If you work in an open-cubicle office such as a crowded newsroom, you may need to scout out a quiet conference room to enjoy some peace and quiet during the day.
Per the piece, Cain explains, “We know that introverts are very creative because their very propensity for working in solitude and with a lot of focus actually aids in the creative process.”
She adds, “When psychologists have looked at who have been the most creative people over time in a wide variety of fields, almost all the people they looked at had serious streaks of introversion. They were comfortable going off by themselves and focusing.”
2. Make a daily ritual of checking in with co-workers. Although introverts may prefer to sit at their desks and get the job done, Cain says it’s important to check in with others.
“That’s what will make them happy and that’s how they’ll feel productive,” Cain points out. “But we all know that part of doing a good job is forming the bonds and the connections and the relationships that we all need.”
So as you’re searching for a quiet place to take a break, you may want to chat with colleagues briefly just to say hello.
She explains it’ll be time well spent. “Introverts will often experience that as a waste of time, not real work but scheduling in a half hour or 45 minutes a day to do that can go a long way.”
3. Don’t be afraid to lead. Go for it! Many leaders throughout time were known to be introverts. Per the piece, Douglas Conant was a beloved CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company and he was shy and introverted. Apparently he wrote more than 30,000 thank-you notes to employees who contributed significantly to the company.
And according to research, introverted leaders are excellent at managing proactive employees. Harvard Business School research has pointed to introverted leaders as more likely to listen and implement their teams’ ideas than extroverts.
The author adds, “Introverts are really good, if they have a bunch of engaged employees, at letting those employees run with their ideas, cultivating those ideas. They’re less focused on putting their own stamp on things and more on bringing out other people’s strengths.”