Introverts, unite!

Well, that might not be possible. How about: Nod silently in agreement to one another?

As a confirmed introvert myself, I've had to deal with my share of stereotyping. We like to be alone, we rarely speak, we don't like meetings, and we're a little subdued.

Maybe all of those traits are true, maybe not.

So far, those attributes are related to personality not work performance. A loner can still crank out business reports. Texting was invented for people who don't like to make phone calls. You can meet over Slack. It's fine to be chill.

The problem is when your personality negatively impacts your work output.

People notice and, quite often, they complain.

For anyone who has an introverted personality, it's important to watch for warning signs. You might spot them in your own work. That can lead to a bad performance review, setbacks in your career, or even a pink slip from the boss. Here are the signs.

1. You don't offer solutions.

The number one sign of a "bad introvert" is when someone refuses to offer assistance and won't participate. It's mostly a fear of failure, not a personality issue. Staying "quiet" because you don't like talking in groups is one thing. Withholding information is something completely different. Some of the most helpful and team-oriented people I know are introverts, mostly because they've learned how to work harder at this and offer up answers after analyzing all of the pros and cons. That's a huge benefit.

2. You don't communicate.

Introverts can be outstanding communicators, mostly because they have an ability to focus on the problem at hand and use tools like email and collaborative chat environments. These days, there's no excuse for under-communicating. The main complaint I hear about myself and other introverts is "we can't read your mind," so to compensate, it's a good idea to over-communicate. For an introvert, that puts you on the same level as an extrovert on a day when he or she is not that chatty.

3. You have a bad attitude about the team.

As an introvert myself, I know there's a tendency to think the work you produce by yourself is better than what a group of people produce. We see red tape, personality conflicts, and ineffective communication on a team. We see clear skies when we go solo. However, it's time for a reality check. Teams are always more powerful. Yes, there may be conflicts and long discussions, but the group will always produce better work. As introverts, we need to get over the view that teams are inefficient.

Now, here's my question. If you see these signs, will you change?

Send me an email for more pointers or if you disagree.