The Successful Introvert By Wendy Gelberg

Many introverts evolve in society feeling like something is wrong with them, like they don’t belong or out of sync with society.

That is because we see people on TV acting out their emotions and interacting with other people.

Introverts Characteristics

Introverts live inwardly and are often engaged in internal activities.

They are uncomfortable in social situations. they find social situations to be draining and enjoy long periods of solitude, which makes it challenging for them to advance in the workplace.

Introverts are good listeners and process information before they speak.

Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. - Wendy Gelberg in The Successful Introvert Click To Tweet

Furthermore, introverts can be seen as “fair, thoughtful, intelligent, competent, diligent, and trustworthy”.

The Successful Introvert By Wendy Gelberg #books #bookreviews #introversion #success #leadership #leadershipdevelopment

How To Manage Your Introversion?

Introverts must understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Introverts must also discipline their active minds. They tend to make assumptions and create stories in their mind that hold them back and are not always true. Instead, they must pick stories that propel them in life.

Introverts must learn how to protect their energy and take breaks when they need to in order to rejuvenate and be more alert at work. 

There are several additional strategies to manage your introversion in order to achieve success:

  1. Focus outward.
  2. Keep your eyes on the prize.
  3. Practice and fake it until you make it.
  4. Feel fear and go towards it anyways.
  5. Be unafraid of rejection.
  6. Embrace solitude. Protect their space and energy. 

The Skills Every Introverts Need To Succeed

Introverts need to learn other extroverted skills to make them more effective in the workplace and to get out their comfort zone.

1. Networking

Networking is challenging for introverts but is necessary and inevitable.

For introverts, networking seems self-serving and distasteful.

To be able to network and connect better with people, it helps to listen to people’s needs, to ask them for advice and to understand that every interaction can pay off in the long run.

2. Communicating Consciously

Because introverts withdraw in their own world, must:

  • Pay attention to their own thoughts.
  • Be careful when and how to communicate with others so that the latter don’t make negative assumptions about them.
  • Stay detached from their work enough to be able to socialize.

3. Promoting Themselves

Self-promotion makes introverts very uncomfortable.

However, your work will not speak for itself.

You have to learn to promote your own work and competencies.

Review

Most books about career development and success are generally geared towards extroverts, which can get discouraging for introverts.

In The Successful Introvert, Wendy Gelberg gives hints on on how, when and where to use your introversion. She shows that there is strength in introversion, that there are places and moments where your introversion is valuable. 

The Successful Introvert by Wendy Gelberg is eye-opening. I recommend this book for shy and introverted leaders (in progress) who want to gain self-awareness, optimize their leadership and develop their career.

Some of us are not leaders yet and wish to become leaders. The thing is our introversion is often times what stops us from getting what we really want in life.

In addition, the corporate world does act like introverts are problematic and often singles them out. Introverts have to learn to accept who they truly are and make the best of their personality type.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

The key to success is versatility.

Introversion is not a limiting characteristic, although the accompanying traits may require some special accommodations (also true of extraversion, but that’s a subject
for another book). We make comparisons to people who are highly successful and see the ways in which we fall short. Meanwhile, we don’t get to see the struggles or challenges that they had to deal with, so their success looks falsely uncomplicated.

Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. All of these speak to our inner focus, and they can contribute to success when used appropriately.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Wendy Gelberg

 

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Wendy Gelberg

MEET THE AUTHOR

Wendy Gelberg is a career coach and the Author of The Successful Introvert.

The Introverted Leader In An Extrovert World

Cubicles are the worst invention for the workplace since the sixties. They were meant to give employees more freedom but have made them more unproductive and unfulfilled.

However, in the workplace, it seems to mostly benefit extroverted people. Indeed, extroverted individuals are friendly, partake in all the fun, get the most important projects and assume the most important positions, know everyone and go further in life. Therefore, introverts either tend to force themselves to adapt to society’s expectation or to give up on their dreams and desire for leadership.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts can be leaders even though introversion is considered a weakness.

There are many attributes to being an introverted leader. Introverted leaders are hard workers and high performers who simply lack people skill, who need their own time to think and become anxious otherwise. They have a rich imagination, get bored easily, love to retreat, yearn for quiet time, are energized by solitude, avoid social exchange and finally extract their strength from within.

Wondering how to harness your influence and how to make a difference as an introverted leader?

The introverted leadersThe Introverted Leader In An Extrovert World

Being an introverted leader has its many challenges in today’s competitive and aggressive workplace. Introverted leaders image and performance suffer because they:

  • are seen as weirdos, deviates and antisocial because they lack interpersonal skills,
  • are connected to the world 24/7, cannot escape anymore and shut down because they constantly feel invaded,
  • get fatigued from being around people all day, are easily and somatically affected by stress,
  • are unable to be assertive, to choose their own projects, to sell themselves and their achievements, to show themselves in the best light and say no to additional work,
  • downplay or are unaware of their potential,
  • are unable to build relationships that will take their career to the next level and become visible.

How to succeed as an introverted leader? Challenges of being an introverted leader

An introverted leaders has tremendous work to do to exhibit expected leadership behaviors. These behaviors will be unnatural at first but will  become second nature with practice.

Work on yourself

Working on yourself does not imply that you have or are a problem or that introversion is a disorder but means that you want to become the best version of yourself. To delete faulty assumptions about you and to reduce the pressure of an interaction:

  • Know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, blindspots, limitations in order to increase your self-confidence, your emotional intelligence, to believe in yourself and capabilities, to be able to detach yourself in difficult situations, to avoid downplaying their personalities, external appearance, capabilities and past successes.
  • Because introverts internalize their problems, it is detrimental for you to value yourself, and treat yourself with respect, stop the self-destructive talk and make  daily affirmative statements and acknowledge your mistakes.
  • Give yourself time to process your thoughts internally and to recharge your batteries.
  • Introverts are inwardly oriented and cannot think on their feet. To compensate, mentally prepare yourself for conversations, presentations, interactions, meetings, job interviews by taking notes, learning key phrases and introduction, composing probing questions, producing back up topics and stories, and finally inviting feedback.
  • Control your voice and your body language. For example, as you are difficult to read, manage your facial expression, smile and look people in the eye to appear approachable.
  • Avoid gossiping, pleasing others, running away from conflicts, passive aggressive behavior, learn to participate in office politics, to resolve conflicts effectively and realistically locate the origin of the problem.
  • Introvert leaders and employees don’t complain and take on more work that they can handle. Learn to set limits, to say no and different ways to decline an invitation, to ask for help and for directions.
  • Take risks and get out your comfort zone to find new opportunities, discover new capabilities and know your limitations, increase your skills and knowledge, get creative and innovative.

Work on your relationships with others

Introverts are generally reserved, appear to be self-absorbed, act their way through their day and stay away from small talk. Maintaining meaningful relationships with people are difficult in itself without feeling the need to put on a front and without feeling exhausted by the process. While interacting with people, it is critical to:

  • Focus on the present moment, connect with people and give them your full attention. Actively listen (introverts are naturally good listeners), show authenticity and interest in the conversations, and extract what you need from the interaction to make a profound and lasting impression.
  • Know your team members, the purpose of the interaction to clarify and organize your speech.
  • Match people with their appropriate tasks by reading and observing them, by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, by coaching them into their purpose. Understand the roles and ambition of your teammates.
  • Create a vision and incorporate each member of the workplace into it.
  • Set standards for your team and write them down, build up your credibility and team motivation.
  • Use open and direct communication. Write down valuable information in all cases.
  • Use social media platforms to network.
  • Find other introverts in your workplace and your energy will automatically increase.

Work on your understanding of your organization

To honor your introverted nature and to better understand the corporate culture and its priorities

  • Introverted leaders generally exercise reflective leadership. However, adapt your leadership style to the people, on their cultural background, on the situation, organization, on the level of extraversion of the crowd.
  • Gain additional visibility of your organization by taking on diverse assignments.
  • When being hired, negotiate a serenity package in your job where you get an office, a consequential lunch break for example.
  • Find a coach or a mentor and create an effective support system.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

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