Never Underestimate the Value of Introverts

Can you afford to overlook the potential of introverts in your workplace? Not if you want to tap into the skills, expertise, and knowledge of all of your employees. Studies show one out of every two or three people are introverts. But in the work world, a quiet personality can easily be mistaken for someone who lacks enthusiasm or ambition, while those with outgoing personalities are seen as engaged go-getters. The perception in our society is that if someone isn’t tooting their own horn, they must not have what it takes to succeed. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about Thomas G. Lynch, an executive at SAP, a business software company who, despite having a good performance record, was often passed over for promotion because of his quiet personality.

Lynch hired a career coach to help him. In the article, Lynch describes how he asked coworkers to provide three adjectives that described him. Using words like innovative, thorough, and empathetic, the results demonstrated to Lynch that his best qualities were tied to his reflective, introverted style.

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