I am Sharmin Banu, Leadership and Career coach working with mid-level technology leaders to bring more growth, purpose and joy.
Have you ever heard an extrovert having a development plan to become quieter or making an effort to have lone time for them? Probably not too often. But if you are an introvert there are tons of feedback for you to come out of your desk, mingle with people, overcome the fears of public speaking, you name it!
Now here is a good news for you (and me). I am reading this article in TIME magazine, The Upside of being an Introvert (and why the extroverts are being overrated); It says,
“It takes both introvert and extrovert to make history. Introverts have less number of friends but those relationships tend to be deep and rewarding. Introverts tend to think more thoroughly and that is a pre-requisite for smarter decisions, innovation or developing transcendent skill. Believe it or not introverts make great business leaders as they are better listeners, they empower others to act on their own.”
A quick way to define Introvert and extrovert is Introverts are exhausted by large parties and social gatherings while extroverts draw energy by being with people. It is important to note that Introversion or extroversion and not binary, it is more of a personality spectrum and many people fall in between.
Our society has a bias towards extroverts, they usually are more successful in their lives. That’s why most introverts learn to fake those extrovert skills in order to fulfill their life demands. Some may find it sad that scientists have found that human’s traits (introversion or extroversion) are fairly inborn and inherited. Hence psychologists advise parents not to push their introvert kids too much as it would do more harm then good. However, there is a better way of doing it. As Brian Little, a research psychologist and superstar academic lecturer (happens to be an introvert) at Harvard says, if something matters to you a lot, an introvert like you would have enough intrinsic motivation to push that discomfort of being in public.
The most exciting part of this article for me is to know about some introvert people who have made their names in the world history. If people like Moses (yes, the Prophet), Mahatma Gandhi to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are introverts then I see no reason for me to be shy about my introvert traits!
Reference: TIME article (subscription required)- The Upside Of Being An Introvert (And Why Extroverts Are Overrated)
Susan Cain’s TED Talk: The Power of Introverts
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