Today's go-go business world favors extroverts. Don't believe it? Just ask an introvert, says workplace expert Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength. Did you know that though introverts may be less noisy at work, by all accounts they outnumber extroverts? Even many high-powered executives - a full 40 percent, like Microsoft's Bill Gates, top Avon CEO Andrea Jung, uber-investor Warren Buffet, and even President Barack Obama describe themselves as introverts. Kahnweiler is a woman on a mission: she's determined to help introverted professionals thrive in an extroverted culture.
In our gung-ho workplace, introverts are routinely ignored, overlooked, and misunderstood, asserts Kahnweiler, an Atlanta-based corporate speaker and executive coach. Her new research, including a national workplace survey and hundreds of personal interviews, provides important ahas for individuals and organizations. For starters, four out of five introverts say extroverts are more likely to get ahead where they work. What's more, over 40 percent say they would like to change their introverted tendencies, but don't know where or how to begin. With their low-key personalities, they regularly undersell themselves, let their ideas go unheard, and avoid playing the game. They also suffer from people exhaustion and, due to difficulty saying no or asking for help, can feel overwhelmed by projects and deadlines. Additionally, more than 80 percent of introverts indicate they struggle with networking - a major liability in career-making areas such as relationship building and job hunting.
The good news? Introversion can be managed. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, but with time and practice, introverts can learn to build on their quiet strength and succeed. Managers and team members can learn to better get introverts and improve their collective results. Download and start listening now!