Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we've turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform
-Susan Cain

If you're an introvert struggling with your personality Quiet by Susan Cain is a must read. It's easy to get caught up in the noise. Thinking louder, bolder is better. There are pros and cons to each personality style. Unfortunately we've developed a social norm of valuing extroverts and treating introverts as maladapted.

My introverted nature has nurtured many skills and brought much success. A leader does not have to be loud. The ability to listen, understand the unspoken, see big picture and the people in the picture at the same time can also be characteristics of a good leader.

10 Things I've discovered through introversion:

  1. As I'm not always speaking, I've found others listen intently when I speak.
  2. They hear my words not the volume of my voice.
  3. I'm skilled at cuing in on body language/the unspoken
  4. I'm skilled at empathizing with others
  5. I've developed great reflective & critical thinking skills. With that the ability to think micro/macro.
  6. My observation skills allow me to understand systems quickly, which goes a long way in organizational & program development/evaluation.
  7. I collaborate well with others. I easily learn what's important to others, through asking, caring, & listening.
  8. Further building on collaboration skills, my nature of not focusing on getting credit & being in the lime light, engages many partners.
  9. I’m good at resolving conflict and de-escalating conflictual situations
  10. I can enjoy time alone, quiet mindful moments and all the other joys of introversion.

No an introvert isn't all that I am, though it's in my nature. It's become a tool I've learnt to use & enjoy. To my fellow introverts embrace your nature. Reflect on the positives, the things you gain from your style. Being introvert led isn't necessarily something to "work on" or change. It might just be one of the best things about you!


**originally published April 25/18