Do you avoid networking events like the plague? Prefer email to phone calls? Feel drained when you’ve been out socializing for the day? Chances are pretty good that you have an introverted personality. Not sure? Here are 23 more signs you might be an introvert.
Introversion in the Workplace
Typically, introverts thrive in small groups and recharge by spending time on their own. On the other hand, extroverts thrive in larger groups and get all charged up by being out and about. So, extroverts must be better entrepreneurs, right? Not necessarily.
New studies suggest that introverts can actually be better entrepreneurs, networkers and bosses than extroverts. In a study entitled, Reversing the Extraverted Leadership Advantage: The Role of Employee Proactivity, Adam Grant explains that “introverted leaders are more likely to listen carefully to suggestions and support employees’ efforts to be proactive.” Extroverted leaders, conversely, “like to be the centre of attention” and “tend to be threatened by employee proactivity.”
Fun fact: The original definition of extrovert by Carl Jung is spelt extravert. Now rare in general use, it is still found in technical use in psychology.
Additionally, Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is empowering introverts everywhere to succeed in the workplace, with the knowledge that you don’t have to be an extrovert to reach your goals.
You might be wondering how you can further your business when you’re not a big fan of networking or generally communicating with people too much? Here are 7 tips to get you rolling!
1. Set Concrete Goals
While it might be easy to attend a networking event, find a seat right next to your drink, and then pat yourself on the back for attending, that isn’t why you attended. Depending on your experience with networking, it can be helpful to set a few concrete goals for the evening.
You could hand out a certain amount of business cards, or have a conversation with 3 people you’ve just met. Slowly, you can increase those goals as you become more comfortable in networking situations. You could even plan a treat for yourself afterwards, as a reward for meeting your goals!
2. Practice Practice Practice
For an introvert, networking and public speaking can feel like the prospect of going to the gym. You flip flop about whether you really want to go, but then once you go for it, you’re much happier that you did. If you get more into the mode of attending, it will become easier with time. You’ll get to know more people who attend the events, and become more comfortable with the way it all works.
3. Recharge your Batteries
If you’ve been communicating with people all day long, once you reach that networking event at the end of the day, you might feel pretty “peopled out.” This could cause you to be short with people, or avoid them all together – thus defeating the purpose of attending the event.
To avoid feeling that way, it’s important for introverts to recharge their batteries at some point during the day. This may involve listening to music, meditating, watching a tv show, or going for a walk. The main thing is spending time on your own in a relaxed state. If you want some good tips for recharging your introversion battery, check out this article.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Close
Ready to close the deal? Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’ve done your due diligence by listening to assess your client’s pain points and what they would like from your business, you are well within your rights to try and close the deal. Just like attending the event, with practice it will get easier to try and shoot for the goal.
Don’t feel like talking? Great! There are many people who would gladly start and mostly contribute to a conversation with you. By matching up with someone who loves to talk at networking events, you can create a connection without having to talk their ear off or jump into a sales pitch.
People like to know that you’re interested in them and what they have to say. Sometimes, people tend to find extroverts overbearing, and by saying less, people can open up to you more.
6. Host an Event or Volunteer
Having an official job is great for introverts because it gives you a sense of purpose at social events. You have a reason to strike up a conversation with others, and they have one to start one with you. Those conversations can then naturally drift to the topics you really want to discuss, like your business. That way, you won’t feel out of place, trying to find someone in the crowd who looks like they’d be willing to chat.
7. Partner up with an Extrovert
Sometimes, it’s best to identify what you excel at, and pair up with someone who is doing what they’re best at. A famous example of this is Steve Wozniak (introvert) and Steve Jobs (extrovert), the pair that went on to start Apple Computers. In this instance, Jobs was in charge of marketing, while Wozniak focused primarily on product development. They were stronger together than they could have ever been apart.
Over to you: Are you an introverted entrepreneur? What are your top tips for others to succeed within the extroverted marketplace? Share them in the comment box below!