Bashful? Shy? Reserved?
You’re not alone (although you may prefer to be!). An estimated 25% to 40% of the population is introverted, which means they gain energy from time alone and expend it when around people.
Whether you’ve been with your employer for years or are just starting in a new sales position, chronic shyness can undermine your professional success. While you can’t – and shouldn’t – try to change your personality, getting ahead means finding intelligent ways to assert yourself in the workplace.
As an introvert, how can you get the attention and recognition you deserve?
Use these tips from The Charis Group to achieve more in your role and even use your natural personality type to your career advantage:
Practice stronger body language.
Reserved people tend to physically “shrink” when around others, communicating uncertainty and fear. Pay attention to how you present yourself when you’re on camera or in a group. If you typically adopt a submissive or meek pose (head down, shoulders hunched, chest closed), try changing your habits.
Practice subtle movements like sitting upright, keeping your shoulders back, and lifting your head. You might not feel all that outgoing, but you can fake it with your body language – and make yourself appear much more confident and assertive.
Get comfortable with your speaking voice.
When you get someone’s attention at work, don’t feel pressured to make yourself sound louder or more imposing with your voice. Doing so can add needless pressure and will almost certainly backfire. Instead, speak naturally and keep an even keel with your tone and volume. Your team will take you more seriously when you embrace your register (be it high or low) and speak from a place of calm and knowledge.
Use your natural personality to your advantage.
Bolder, more outspoken coworkers may “steal the spotlight” from time to time, but using these two superpowers will help you stand out for all the right reasons:
Observation skills. Introverts tend to be thinkers and keen observers. Use this skill to understand others’ motivations, personalities, and learning styles and tailor your communication to their needs.
Listening skills. When your mouth is closed, your ears are open – giving you more space to listen than an extrovert who can’t stop running their mouth. Think about what coworkers and your boss say, and then offer a considered point, an overlooked fact, or an alternate view.
Share your accomplishments – on your terms.
Start by identifying your strengths. What are you great at? What makes you a real asset in your company? What have you achieved that nobody else has? What can you do better, faster, or more efficiently? Understanding your strengths and accomplishments is the first step in realizing – and effectively promoting – your worth.
Then, think about what you want. Is it more responsibility, higher pay, recognition, or maybe a promotion? Write down what you’ve done and what you want. If you’re an introvert, you may find it easier to be more assertive with your written words than your spoken ones.
When it’s time to share your accomplishments, you don’t have to “toot your own horn” publicly to make the impact you want. In fact, when it comes to promoting your own work, less is sometimes more. A one-on-one meeting with your supervisor or a simple email works as well as a flashy declaration.
Need a job that’s a better fit?
If your current job isn’t bringing out the best in you and playing to your strengths, it’s a great time to connect with The Charis Group.