We’ve all heard those stereotypes about introverts who get tongue-tied around people, never dress well, wear thick glasses and don’t get invited anywhere. But as most introverts know, these stereotypes get it all wrong. You could be a great dresser with several friends who gets asked out and invited to parties all the time. Still, there might be certain situations which cause you anxiety, such as having to talk in front of a group, asserting yourself and saying “no.”
Characteristics of Introverts
Here are some defining characteristics of introverts:
- They’re very creative people. Given that introverts spend more time alone than extroverts, they have more time to read and come up with creative ideas.
- They’re good with people one-on-one. Introverts tend to be soft-spoken which is why they prefer hanging out with others one on one rather than in a group.
- They’re great listeners. This is partly because introverts have higher powers of concentration than extroverts. When you speak with an introvert, you’ll know that they’re listening intently to what you are saying.
- They’re problem-solvers. This is a characteristic of introverts which is related to their creativity. People who are creative are naturally good problem-solvers because they have a number of ideas about how to solve a problem.
5 Communication Tips for Introverts
If you identify with the above description to some extent, you can try the following communication tips in the workplace:
- Speak to people individually: This is one of the strengths of introverts. So why not make use of it? You don’t have to force yourself to speak up in a meeting if it’s causing you anxiety. Instead, make an appointment to speak to that person one-on-one.
- Write emails: Introverts tend to be better at writing than extroverts. So why not make use of this skill? If you feel like you were unable to make your point in a crowded meeting, send an email out to the relevant people with what you want to say. Do try to keep it short and sweet, since people have short attention spans.
- Claim your ideas: If you feel like people are taking credit for your ideas, be sure to stake your claim, either by speaking to people individually or via email. This is not something to feel embarrassed about because you have the right to do it.
- Work with a partner: If you are working on a project that involves presentations or talking in front of a group, why not work with a partner whom you trust and can communicate with? The idea of a partnership is to utilize each person’s strengths.
- Stop apologizing: This is yet another characteristic of introverts. They tend to say “sorry” a lot because they tend to feel like they’re getting in someone else’s way. You’ve got to banish this idea from your mind. And even if you can’t, reminding yourself to stop apologizing will automatically improve your self-esteem and make you more confident.
So if you’re an introvert who’s having some issues communicating in the workplace, keep these tips in mind. But remember that it may take some time for you to stop feeling anxious and improve your communication skills. Even if you can do one thing a day to boost your confidence levels, then you should see some results in a matter of weeks.