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MOTM August 2012
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This article from TheLadders Gets You a New Job Quicker | TheLadders should be better entitled "hey just be an extravert!"

Overcoming Introverted Tendencies that Might Limit Your Leadership Growth | Career Rocketeer - Career Search and Personal Branding Blog

Overcoming Introverted Tendencies that Might Limit Your Leadership Growth
When I openly discuss Introverted Leadership, it gets a lot of reaction. The one that interests me the most is when people don’t know for sure they are an introvert. All they know is that they face daily challenges that come from their own tendencies.
Are you facing challenges due to your own behavior?
My view on this is that it doesn’t really matter if you are an “official” introvert as measured by the Meyers-Briggs assessment. What matters is that if you are faced with some introverted tendencies (which we all have at times) – do they get in your way of achieving your goals?
I’ve highlighted a few of these tendencies below. If they sound familiar, then consider the solutions that follow.
At a loss for what to say. Introverts tend to listen more than they speak. They also tend to speak only when there is a purpose and they have something meaningful to say. The challenge is recognizing that there are times when you know you should speak up, but you’re not sure what to say.

  • Solution: Use some of your classic curiosity and ask a question. We all suffer from coming up with the best, fastest comment. Give yourself some time and ask a question. While someone else is formulating an answer, you have time to create a great comment.
  • Solution: Repeat others’ comments. You’ll notice in conversations that a significant amount of what is being said is simply just regurgitated commentary. Don’t be afraid to repeat others as well as yourself – it’s how points get made.
Work relationships are sluggish or nonexistent. While you may not be opposed to work relationships, you may not deliberately go out of your way to form them. The issue is that when you need relationships the most, you may not have them. You need alliances early in the game to help you with all kinds of things. For example, other people help with your training, offer insights on internal dynamics, and know where the “land mines” are.

  • Solution: First figure out with whom you might want to affiliate. Perhaps you like them or they have a grasp on things that you admire. Pick people you think have some type of natural affinity. Take time everyday to chat with these people or have coffee with them on a routine basis. Developing relationships doesn’t have to be time consuming or unnatural.
You get droopy. A classic introvert tendency is that your energy level gets spent quickly, especially when it involves others. Once the energy is depleted, it becomes increasingly difficult to speak up, stay engaged or interact with others.

  • Solution: Plan ahead. If you know this happens to you consistently, plan for it to happen and create strategies to keep your batteries charged. This might mean that you plan some desk time working on a project before and after a meeting. Look at meetings like a marathon runner. Charge your batteries ahead of time and then pace yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an occasional or full-time introvert. If you kick into tendencies that don’t help you accomplish what you need to, you can make some adaptations that will help you be the powerhouse you know you can be.
Adapting is key to your career growth and survival. I help people create adaptation strategies that help them claim their potential.

...that's right introversion is a behavior. Did you know that?
 

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It doesn’t matter if you’re an occasional or full-time introvert.
I mean...?

I can understand the intent of the article, but it misses the point by a mile.
 

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The LOLs.
However, I have to contradict this article: I'm usually the one who befriends bosses (only those whom I find likeable and competent) without even intending to network. (I hate networking, I find it abusive. If you want to form a strategic alliance, that's fine, but you don't need to pretend you're friends). Most of the time, I don't even do small talk with them initially. I either tell them my opinion about things or I ask them incredibly socially unacceptable questions like "What do you think about ....?". I must admit most of them have been NTs, though, plus two ENFJs (with whom I talk about more personal/small talky topics because they force them on me). I think the reason I get on well with bosses is that as an INTJ I'm not bothered about rank, gender or any of the other factors that prevent some people from chatting openly with bosses. I never befriend them on purpose (with a networking agenda), though. They just happen to be the most interesting people around. If a boss is boring, I won't befriend them.
 

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:dry: Wow, these (supposedly) Introverted behaviors are limiting my "leadership growth? LOL!

Solution: Use some of your classic curiosity and ask a question. We all suffer from coming up with the best, fastest comment. Give yourself some time and ask a question. While someone else is formulating an answer, you have time to create a great comment.


A comment shouldn't just be the "best and fastest", it should be relevant and well thought-out.
Also, I apparently need to ask a pointless question just to give myself time to form some amazing comment? Shouldn't I be listening to the person answer my question rather than thinking of what I'm going to say next?

Work relationships are sluggish or nonexistent. While you may not be opposed to work relationships, you may not deliberately go out of your way to form them. The issue is that when you need relationships the most, you may not have them. You need alliances early in the game to help you with all kinds of things. For example, other people help with your training, offer insights on internal dynamics, and know where the “land mines” are.


I want friendships to be natural. I generally get along with people at work, but not everyone is my best friend, nor do they need to be. I make friends with certain people easily, others, it just doesn't happen. That's how it goes. I love how they consider friendships some kind of stragegic allegance rather than natural. I would never want to befriend someone for the sake of strategy and getting ahead in "the game". I don't see work as a game. If I want to be trained in someone's area, learn about their work, or need help, I'll ask. I just treat everyone equally and kindly, and most people have been willing to help, even if we aren't "best pals". We can have a professional relationship, I don't need to take them out to coffee each week.
 

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The LOLs.
However, I have to contradict this article: I'm usually the one who befriends bosses (only those whom I find likeable and competent) without even intending to network. (I hate networking, I find it abusive. If you want to form a strategic alliance, that's fine, but you don't need to pretend you're friends). Most of the time, I don't even do small talk with them initially. I either tell them my opinion about things or I ask them incredibly socially unacceptable questions like "What do you think about ....?". I must admit most of them where NTs, though, plus two ENFJs (with whom I talk about more personal/small talky topics because they force them on me). I think the reason I get on well with bosses that as an INTJ I'm not bothered about rank, gender or any of the other factors that prevent some people from chatting openly with bosses. I never befriend them on purpose (with a networking agenda), though. They just happen to be the most interesting people around. If a boss is boring, I won't befriend them.
I find the same traits exist over time, as an INFJ it seems authenticity, unconditional curiosity, supportive problem solving, honesty and just seeing people as people is often lacking in others (as you note networking for networkings sake can seem very cold and calculating to me as well; at least people could be more honest about their intentions as a new social etiquette ;-) .

*offers you a fluffy hug of acceptance*
 
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