Key productivity secrets that make introverts invaluable in the workplace

There are more people with introvert personalities than you might think. Statistics puts the figure at one in every two or three people around the world.

Contrary to common perception, introverts are no wallflowers of the workplace; rather their unique set of characteristics positions them strategically to shine: insightful, good listeners, self-motivated, empathetic, team-oriented, productive and effective leadership qualities. Now more than ever there is much cause to rejoice in being an introvert at work.  Big personalities do not always result in desirable pay-offs for businesses. While introverts may not be the ‘life and soul of the party’, they are the soul of the workplace.

Are you an introvert? Here’s why you should celebrate your inner introspectiveness

If you’re an introvert you join an illustrious list of household names of successful entrepreneurs and historical and business leaders: Elon Musk, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein, Larry Page, Bill Gates, Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg.

Studies continue to show how the modern workplace is suited to showcase the strengths of introvert-minded employees. The balance has shifted. If you’re an introvert here are many reasons why your personality type is set to shine at work.

  • Less distracted

Laurie Helgoe, clinical psychologist and professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine and author of ‘Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life If Your Hidden Strength’ believes that introverts tend to be less distracted at work which makes them very productive employees.

Helgoe also proposes that introverts are better equipped to working on long-range plans thanks to their predisposition for solitude. They are not easily diverted or motivated by rewards; instead they work to accomplish goals to a high standard.

  • Good listeners

This highly sought after leadership attribute allows introverts to compile much needed information in order to make informed decisions to resolve challenges and to plan budgets. An attentive listener can draw inferences from customer feedback without making rash conclusions and provide well-thought-out solutions. An introvert salesperson who is a good listener can give a customer the sense he or she has been heard and their particular problem understood.

  • Out-of-the-box creative thinkers

Introverts have above average proficiencies at finding creative solutions thanks to their excellent ability to synthesize information. A researcher from Harvard University has found that the prefrontal cortex in an introvert’s brain is more developed to encourage abstract thinking and facilitate quality decision-making processes. An introvert is happy to think and plan before speaking and taking action.

  • Successful leaders

The myth that introverts do not make for good leaders has been effectively turned on its head. Recent research reveals that introverts are more effective than extroverts at supporting and channelling the resourcefulness of fired-up employees under their guiding hands.

According to corporate consultant, Jennifer Kahnweiler, introverts make for effective leaders by acting on four principles or processes: introverts prepare, are present in the moment, push themselves through taking on challenges and practising adjusting to what is uncomfortable.

So, there are definitive and distinctive advantages to being an introvert. Embrace your introverted mind and play to your strengths and climb that proverbial career ladder.

About the author

Zulfah Abrahams writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs, visit our website.

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