Excerpt from “Quiet Influence”

Excerpt from ‘Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference’ by Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD:

“Let’s start with a fundamental question: When you need to recharge, do you tend to want to be alone in a quiet place? If you answered yes, you’re likely an introvert.

Technically speaking, introversion and extroversion are terms that refer to personality traits and are about sources of stimulation and energy. Although extroverts recharge by being with people and participating in high-energy events, their introverted counterparts draw energy from within. Just to clarify: shyness is different than introversion. Shyness is a product of fear or anxiety in social settings, whereas introversion is simply about a source of energy. This basic tendency to find energy from within comes out in these observable characteristics of introverts. See if any of these resonate with you:

Embrace Solitude. Introverts need and want to spend time alone. At work, they prefer quiet, private spaces and like to handle projects on their own or in small groups.

Think first, talk later. Introverts think before they speak. Even in casual conversations, they consider others’ comments carefully and stop and reflect before responding. They know how to use the power of the pause.

Hold emotions inside. Introverts are seldom outwardly emotional or expressive. They can be difficult to read and thus their feelings are frequently misconstrued.

Focus on Depth. Introverts seek depth over breadth. They like to dig deep-delving into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. They are drawn to meaningful conversations as opposed to superficial chit-chat. They know when to tune into others and when they don’t need to spend so much energy doing so.

Let their fingers do the talking. Introverts prefer writing to talking. On the job, they opt for email over the telephone and are likely to prefer writing reports over giving presentations.

Act low-key. Introverts are usually quiet and reserved. They tend to speak softly and slowly. They have no desire to be the center of attention, preferring instead to fly below the radar. Even in heated conversations, they tend to project calm on the outside.

Keep private matters…private. Introverts are anti-“open book.” They keep personal matters under wraps, sharing information with only a select few; even then, only after they know those people well and feel a level of comfort with them. They can be equally cautious about work matters and stay quiet about their ideas and alliances.”


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