The office can be overwhelming when you are an introvert because great teamwork is possible through great communication. Here are five ways to communicate better at work:
If you think being an introvert in the workplace is a weakness, think again because you are a great asset in many ways. As much as it takes time for you to warm up and open up you have qualities that complement extroverts just as much. Introverts are loved for being insightful, thoughtful, empathetic and eloquent. Although they strive working in their own space and pace they are great team members who don’t need the spotlight to be assured of a job well done. Nevertheless, communication can seem to be a challenge, especially when you are starting out in your job. As a fellow introvert, here are five ways I practice great communication in the office:
Master one on one conversations: Since introverts thrive in small group conversations, make that your advantage. Have one on one conversations with your team members, even on topics outside your job description, so that they get to know you too. When you have ideas you don’t feel comfortable sharing with everyone in the team, select the relevant people, especially your managers. That way, you’ll also attract positive attention to them.
Be in the lead: When it comes to office chit chats, introverts will do everything to avoid them as we prefer deep, meaningful conversations. Challenge yourself by leading the conversation with questions you want to ask. This way you steer the conversation in the direction that is comfortable to you.
Spend time on your own: Since introverts love their own space, don’t compromise on some me-time for a couple of minutes. If you feel overwhelmed, crowded or irritable, it means you need time to supercharge your energy for the office (and even social) environment.
Be yourself: Being loud and blabbing is not a guaranteed way to make people like or accept you. As much as you are considerate of others accept that people must also understand your personality as well. Set boundaries if need be and always write down ideas and things you want to communicate at appropriate times, such as meetings. Writing helps you remember, especially when you feel overwhelmed at meetings.Be authentic and the right people who are meant to be in your life will be drawn to you.
Take it easy: Find environments that you are comfortable communicating in, either a boardroom, an office, or a cafeteria and invite people who want to chat with at those areas. Don’t be hard on yourself because you barely utter a word for hours. Find what works best for you and your team because, at the end of the day, work needs to be done regardless of everyone’s personality in the workplace.