Introverts: 3 simple strategies to help you stand out, brand yourself and get your point across…without changing your personality!
Let’s face it – life is one great big competition. You compete with hundreds of applicants to get into college. You interview for your coveted and prestigious job in a seemingly unending selection process. Once you get the job, you find yourself jockeying with other professionals in office politics. You learn there are people who stand out, get noticed, lead committees and become the go-tos.
You learn there are people who stand out, get noticed, lead committees and become the go-tos.
What if speaking up just doesn’t come naturally? What if you’re just as talented as those “squeaky wheels” and you’re an introvert? Have you ever been frustrated by your extroverted counterparts? They can portray confidence, bravado and leadership because they speak out and don’t hold back much. Sometimes they’re funny. They command attention and sound authoritative – constantly talking as they work out answers to problems out loud. But to an introvert? All that activity can make you retreat right into your shell, and you get more and more annoyed because they’ve hijacked the spotlight.
How’s an introvert supposed to get noticed? When you hang back and let others lead, or if you don’t speak up much, your team members might not know what you stand for. In these times when your social cred speaks volumes, being an introvert can definitely be a pothole on the road to success.
Here’s the truth about how you can play bigger and create a personal brand when you never thought you could. Use these three simple innate ways to brand yourself and get your point across…without changing your personality!
1. Use your tendency to over prepare to your advantage.
Introverts don’t like to be caught off guard, so you prep, prep, and prep. When you know you have a meeting, jot down several bullet points about the agenda items so that your thoughts are organized. Think about your unique perspective and your expertise, and craft brief talking points. Make it a point to speak up. Do not leave the meeting without contributing to the dialogue. Nervous? Practice your remarks, and even practice making eye contact with your colleagues. You’ll get noticed and will command more authority because your delivery is sound.
2. Use your tendency to slow the action to your advantage.
Once you have the floor, speak deliberately. Make your points in a clear, organized manner. Your colleagues will appreciate your attention to detail and your extraverted counterparts will wish they “said it as clearly as you did.” Remember, extraverts first speak (sometimes blurting and gushing), and then think about what they said after the fact. Faster is not always better! By moving faster than introverts, extraverts’ messages sometimes sound scattered and off-the-cuff.
3. Use your tendency to listen well to stand out from the pack.
With today’s frenetic pace, others often don’t feel heard. Make it a point to quote your colleagues; paraphrase their remarks and demonstrate your superb listening ability. Since you rarely interrupt, you have a leg up on extraverts, who may cut you off and interject for fear of forgetting what they are going to say. I always say, if you’re talking while someone else is talking, are you really listening? Stay quiet until the person has finished speaking, wait three heartbeats, and then respond. It makes them feel terrific when they are heard!
Being an introvert does not have to be an obstacle on your road to success. By practicing the three simple cures as I’ve outlined them, you’ll see changes both externally and internally! Not only will you start to command your share of the spotlight, you will begin to resonate more confidence. Confidence comes from repeating actions and steps, and your body develops muscle memory.
What’s helpful about these solutions is that you use your natural talents and innate abilities. Apply these talents to business situations in ways you may not have thought of before.
Have any of these tips worked for you? If so (or not), tell me all about it in the COMMENTS section.
Casey Carpenter, The Sales Call Breakthrough Coach, believes that “introverts do everything better.” She works with business people to improve their communication and selling skills. A reformed wallflower, she has a special love for introverts, as she overcame many obstacles and had a banner sales, management and executive coaching career while working at several Fortune 500 companies. She coaches individuals, conducts group training and leads seminars on sales and business communication.
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