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7 powerful ways that introverts can uniquely contribute to the workplace

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By Jane Finkle, Business Insider

  • Jane Finkle has 25 years of experience as a career coach for universities and has run her own career counseling firm since 2002.
  • Introverts can sometimes feel overlooked in today's fast-paced workplace as they are less likely to speak up or want to stand out.
  • However, their shy and reserved nature can make them a great asset in the workplace, especially to balance out extroverted coworkers.
  • Introverts excel at staying focused, offering empathy, and being reflective and calm during tense situations.

If you are an introvert, you may question your ability to compete in our fast-paced culture. It's normal for self-doubt to creep in as you watch the more brash extroverts noisily flaunt their talents and thrive in an environment that rewards speaking up and taking action.

Introverts bring to the table a thoughtful presence and empower the workplace in a quieter way. Intense concentration, a highly perceptive thought process, and a readiness to observe rather than blow their own horn are some of their admirable traits. An introvert's focused, calm approach allows for deeper insights and the potential to generate productive solutions to organizational problems. And their innate curiosity often prompts introverts to ask insightful questions that can impact important business decisions.

These seven prized qualities can give introverts a competitive edge in today's head spinning, unstable workplace where building relationships, developing innovation, and providing effective problem solving are all in high demand.


1. Reflection

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Introverts tend to think before speaking. Using quiet energy to carefully reflect, introverts present themselves as well prepared for business meetings or presentations. Thoroughly processing an idea or solution is a superb tool for setting strategies that are more likely to produce success in networking and interviewing. Expressing just one particularly thoughtful opinion or idea can earn you recognition in meetings or for work on a special project.


2. Ability to listen

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Just because someone talks a lot doesn't mean they are a font of wisdom or world-shattering ideas. Good listeners by design, introverts prefer to take in all pertinent information before speaking, but then they often surprise their audience by making relevant and novel comments. Introverts frequently excel at drawing people out, a talent which lends itself to establishing and maintaining strong business relationships. Your natural ability to listen builds trust.


3. Focus

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The workplace is a fertile field for unaddressed issues, but this only invigorates introverts, who use their intense concentration to investigate, analyze, and get to the bottom of complex business problems. Fortunately for you, an introvert's penchant for deep concentration is particularly well suited to plug leaks, sand down flaws, and come up with creative and effective solutions.


4. Calm

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Introverts tend to remain calm, cool, and collected during conflicts or when things go wrong. Careful and cautious thinkers, they rarely act impulsively and take their time to judiciously assess a difficult situation or crisis. The combination of your composed manner and reflective reasoning often allows you to come up with a constructive fix during a stormy situation.


5. Writing

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There is no need to go against nature by competing with more verbose and action-oriented extroverts. Introverts tend to be strong writers who take full advantage of observations and well-plumbed thoughts to write industry-centered text, finely sprinkled with the gold dust of their innate talent and knowledge. Writing allows you to think things through freely and thoroughly, without interruption, in a quiet space - and remain your genuine self. Your writing skills are an essential ingredient in conducting business and presenting your forte.


6. Creativity

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Introverts use solitude to energize their thoughts and ideas. Quiet and alone time is fertile ground for you to dream, call upon the imagination, and birth novel ideas that can impact the growth and success of your career.


7. Sensitivity

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Considering too many scenarios at once may lead introverts to overthinking, but this aspect of your nature makes you more sensitive and responsive to the feelings and sensibilities of colleagues and clients. Introverts know what it is like to feel invisible or ignored in large groups, so they often make sure that everyone relevant to an issue or situation is an integral part of a work conversation or meeting.

In today's rapid-fire workplace, you may have to move beyond your comfort zone and challenge yourself to stretch in new directions. But if you relax and let your positive inner force guide you, introversion can be a calm and steady ride, leading you down the road to opportunity and success.

See more at: Business Insider

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