Standing out at work can be a bit of a tough ask for a lot of people. On a previous post on the blog, we talked about ’20 Strengths and Struggles for Introverts in the Workplace’. Workplaces are composed of different types of people, and not everyone can be gregarious or good at networking. However, just because the American workplace might test the strengths of introverts doesn’t mean that introverts can’t be a valuable part of the team.
The great thing about working with different people is that you don’t have to be a ball of energy all the time. In fact, Psychology Today has listed different ways that introverts can excel in the workplace, including sharing knowledge and generating ideas. What matters is what you bring to the table, not how. Here are a few things you can bring up at your next meeting that might make all the difference.
New Ways of Connecting
Introverts are known for finding networking difficult, and in many ways that might be true. Networking can feel transactional, and the pressure of having to make connections with people you may not know or even like could put anyone off. But as an introvert, you can use your experience to bring a new perspective on networking to the table.
Tech executive Karen Wickre, who also self-describes as an introvert, has some tips on how to do just that. Simply shifting your perspective — keeping in “loose touch” with your connections and acting as a “giver,” not a “taker” — can help you feel more comfortable when forging connections. Small interactions over the span of your acquaintance can help you keep your relationship going, while not pushing your energy levels to the limit. And the plus side is, this advice can work for anyone dealing with a large network of people — not just introverts.
New Marketing Strategies
Introverts are creative, which means that they can suggest new ways of approaching the same strategies. Take marketing, for example. Marketing is most effective when it’s about forging close, personal bonds with your customers without overwhelming them — something that introverts know all too well. Each interaction with your customers has to feel unique and meaningful, and the more meaningful the interaction the more effective your campaign.
Take direct mail marketing, as an example. It’s not a constant barrage of mass emails or ads like most digital marketing efforts often turn out to be. Instead, it’s highly personal and an individual campaign that can bring in great returns if you know how to play your cards right. Marketing solutions company Triadex outlines that direct mail marketing is effective because of five reasons: among other things, it’s personal, it’s targeted, and it’s accountable — things introverts are very familiar with.
New Avenues for Communication
Introverts aren’t well known for being comfortable in groups; in fact, the exact opposite is true. Constant meetings and personal check-ins can get grating fast, and might not even be as effective as other people think they are. According to Entrepreneur, there are several ways for an introvert to thrive in a workplace, and all it requires is a little bit of creativity.
Take communication channels, for example. The corporate standard is the meeting, whether one-on-one or with a team. But as introverts know, these meetings can get crowded and confusing, and can take away precious work time. Making use of asynchronous communication methods like Slack and emails can actually help employees work more efficiently, as you can check in without interrupting your work. As working environments change and work-from-home policies become more widespread, these channels might even turn out to be the new norm.
New Plans for the Workplace
As an introvert, you may find that you don’t seem to “fit in” with standard office culture, and that’s fine. Rather than seeing this as a drawback or a flaw, you can actually turn it to your advantage. Having a differing perspective allows you to see the weaknesses of a system that others might be taking for granted.
The Huffington Post claims that open plan offices, one of the biggest fads in workplaces across the world, might not be all that they’re cut out to be. The lack of privacy and constant barrage of noise can make getting work done more difficult than it needs to be. Funnily enough, that’s something every introvert is well acquainted with, and might be a helpful thing to mention at your next office-wide meeting.