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Four Strategies For Introverts To Increase Visibility And Success At Work

Four Strategies For Introverts To Increase Visibility And Success At Work

As a career coach, I often work with individuals who are high achievers but feel undervalued and overshadowed due to their introverted nature. These individuals prefer to work behind the scenes, don’t brag about their accomplishments, yet possess unique skills and perspectives that can significantly benefit any organization.

In a workplace culture where extroverted qualities are often valued, and self-promotion is necessary for recognition and promotion, introverts have difficulty gaining the visibility and acknowledgment they deserve for their contributions.
Introverts tend to be more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts, and they often like to take their time to research, analyze and confirm before sharing their thoughts with others. In a remote work environment, this may impact how their colleagues and superiors perceive them, as they may appear silent during meetings or not participate as actively as others.

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Additionally, introverts typically recharge when they are alone, and they can feel overwhelmed when they are required to interact with too many people, such as when they attend conferences or workshops.

Introverts possess several strengths that make them valuable contributors in the workplace. These include their ability to focus deeply, think reflectively and critically, listen actively, empathize, communicate thoughtfully and impactfully, work independently, and possess strong intrinsic motivation. These traits enable introverts to excel in strategic planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and team collaboration and can also make them natural leaders and mentors in their respective fields.

A Harvard Business Review article by Melody Wilding explains that “Being visible at work means ensuring that your contributions, skills, and achievements are recognized and appreciated by others within your organization. Unlike bragging or showboating, gaining visibility involves strategically sharing updates, information, and successes in a way that’s useful and relevant to others”. Below are some strategies:

1) Speak up early in meetings
Do you ever find that others speak up with what you were thinking first? It can be challenging, but try to be the second or third person to contribute instead of waiting for the perfect comment. Take a deep breath and express your thoughts. Introverts often perform better when they have time to prepare and rehearse their ideas. So, take some time to outline your key points, practice your delivery, and anticipate any questions before the meeting. This will help increase your confidence and ensure that your contributions are well-received. After the meeting, take the time to appreciate your contributions and give yourself a pat on the back. Avoid focusing on what you didn’t say or what didn’t go perfectly.

2) Take the pressure off to be perfect
To increase your visibility you don’t necessarily need to come up with groundbreaking ideas or have all the answers. Simply being involved in the conversation and commenting can be enough. As a deep thinker and problem solver, you can make your presence felt by asking thoughtful clarifying questions, reflecting on a previous discussion, or suggesting useful resources. This can help the group to consider other aspects that may not have been previously considered. If you still feel like you want to sound humble, you can add comments like “I’m thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this”.

3) Avoid downplaying yourself
If you have a tendency to begin a comment by saying, “I am not an expert” or “This may not be good enough”, it is advisable to rephrase your statements to sound more confident. According to Wilding, this can gradually undermine your authority and influence. Avoid downplaying your achievements and ideas. You can try phrases like “Another approach could be…” or “My initial thoughts are…” to express your opinions without sounding uncertain.

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4) Leverage asynchronous methods of communication
If you often find it difficult to express your opinion quickly or feel nervous and threatened when faced with unexpected questions, you may want to consider using communication methods that are not in real-time, such as email or Slack. If you are already using these methods, you may also want to consider substituting a monthly meeting with a monthly or quarterly newsletter. This can help you communicate more effectively and feel more comfortable in your communication while still showcasing your leadership and expertise. You can offer to answer any questions by email or schedule one-on-one meetings as needed to clarify items. For introverts, big groups can be overwhelming, so smaller groups or one-on-one meetings are always preferred.

By implementing these strategies, introverts can effectively navigate the workplace dynamics, gain visibility for their contributions, and achieve success in their careers. reach out to a career coach if you need more guidance on how to implement these strategies. Embracing and leveraging their unique strengths is key to thriving in any professional environment.




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