One of the disadvantages of being an introvert is they often are overlooked in the workplace. For high-performing introverts, this can be particularly discouraging. Often, in situations where an equally qualified introvert and extrovert are vying for an opportunity, the extrovert may have an edge. Because the extrovert frequently is more vocally persuasive, it is easier for the decision-maker to confidently select them for the role at hand.
However, managers and leaders scanning their talent base for right-fit promotion opportunities may want to dig a little deeper, ask more questions and overall make the extra effort to research their candidates with a bit of vigor before making promotion decisions.
Some of the reasons why high-performing introverts are valuable to your ever-growing organization, and thus, would add value through the promotion chain, follow:
1. Introverts often are known for being detail-oriented, and taking time to improve projects using their attention to spot and fill gaps in reporting, testing, processing, customer service and so forth. While extroverts can sometimes be impatient with minutiae, the traits of many introverts include being attentive to the little things that become the big things, and if overlooked, can cost money, time and resources.
2. Introverts are known for being introspective and ‘in their thoughts.’ They quietly like to charge forward with a strategy in which to channel those thoughts. Since they are not energized by crowds of people or noise or hubbub, advancing them into opportunities where their boss or people whom they would report to are busy and relatively unavailable is an opportunity for the introvert to thrive. They prefer to apply their quiet, solitary fortitude to forge ahead and deliver.
3. Introverts may not be as obvious in their influencing skills, but often they are able to sway others in their quiet manner, getting their point across, without drama or overstatement. Because they are not drawn to loud and chaotic environments and conversations, they do not communicate as such. Their calm, often direct but diplomatic approach to exerting influence is an advantage in many roles.
4. Introverts can be assigned roles where isolation, quiet and complete focus are necessary, and they will thrive. Whether it be computer programming, air traffic controlling or crunching numbers as an accountant, the introvert’s ability to thrive through in-depth focus results in measurable results.
5. Introverts’ empathic skills often are well tuned, based on their focus on internal thoughts and feelings, a trait that is increasingly valued in today’s workforce.
6. Introverts are known for their skills in listening, and an enhanced ability to internalize and reflect on what they hear and incorporate it in their work life. As such, when a teammate or manager engages with an introvert, they can be confident they are being heard, and that their insights will be activated in the most thoughtful way possible.
7. Introverts are viewed as trustworthy and capable of maintaining confidential information. They are terrific sounding boards that colleagues can call upon with trust that their words will not be dragged through the dirt and soiled; instead, they can be comforted knowing what they divulge will be protected, with care.
8. Introverts, while drained by large events or groups of people, often find nourishment in small groups and intimate, meaningful collaborations where there is structure and a specific objective. This makes them ideal candidates for assignments that have purpose and where each individual has a definitive role. Their ability to add nuance to alliances is exemplified through their keen eye to detail.
9. Introverts often choose their words carefully, and therefore are precise communicators, which lends itself well in today’s social media-filled world. While chit-chat may not be their forte, when parachuted into conversations or projects that require intentional communications, they thrive.
10. Introverts are continual learners, whether it be through traditional means of a higher education institution or through reading and researching ideas, better ways of doing things, self-improvement or solutions to deeply entrenched issues.
11. Introverts often can see the silver lining, and because of their deep focus, often have ‘blinders on’ to the negative vibes that otherwise can creep into their mission. They dig in and get tasks done, with the hope and positivity bred by the purpose of the mission, despite the disruptions or naysayers along the way.