Think of every introvert you know. Now, think of how they communicate with you. Although they might come across as quiet or even, in some cases, downright unengaging, introverts tend to sit, listen intently, process, and then respond. And what better way to communicate or approach work-environment discussions than that?
Put an introvert in a room filled with extroverts, and they might seem like they don’t have much to add to a discussion. However, there’s something powerful about being added to a world that can’t stop talking, leading to why introverts make great communicators.
They Are Attentive Listeners
Listening is one of the best skills to have when it comes to communication. Active listeners can communicate as needed through verbal and non-verbal cues. For example, maintaining a posture of attention and eye contact throughout a conversation expresses interest. And just like a salesperson asks check-in questions throughout a pitch, an attentive listener asks questions to clarify what’s being said, such as, “what is the next best step” or “how can I help?” Again, this demonstrates a participant’s engagement in the conversation.
They Have a Keen Perspective
Introverts tend to think before they speak since they process information internally. This practice allows them to hear what’s being said, process it, and then give their response. Extroverts process externally, which means they are talking while someone else is speaking. Since introverts don’t, they might pick up on certain things said during that time than an outwardly communicating extrovert.
They Are Incredible Observers
Since introverts prioritize thinking critically and processing information before responding, they tend to be more observant due to the established level of patience. Doing so gives them a needed perspective of the room, or world, around them, making them more likely to notice body language or facial expressions. Knowing the process they go through when receiving information, gives them the ability to see introvert qualities in others and let the conversation breathe when needed.
Want to flex your introvert muscle? There’s a couple of best practices you can put in place today to do just that.
Remove Fear from the Equation – Don’t worry so much about saying the wrong thing and more about contributing your thoughts. Unless your title is literally perfectionist, you don’t need to be perfect. If you say something you didn’t mean to or want to, own your mistake, and move on. Don’t dwell on it.
Prepare, Prepare… and Then Prepare Some More – Before discussions or meetings, make a list of what you want to go over. It doesn’t matter if it’s an all-day event or 15 minutes, prepare for what you want to discuss. This preparation gives your mind the time and comfortability to receive and process information without constantly worrying about what you need to say next.
File Away Thoughts – Be in the moment when you are having a conversation with someone by taking the information they share and storing it away for use at another time. Doing so keeps your mind and attention on the discussion on hand as it evolves. Limit distraction by thinking of the bits of information as pieces of paper. You want to place these in a file cabinet so they stay in a secure place and not in a messy heap in front of you.
Solicit Feedback – Approach colleagues you trust and ask them what you could improve upon. It’s not always easy to hear but refrain from defending yourself. Instead, process the information and thank them for their candidness.