Friday, 8 November 2013

The power of the introvert

So my new favourite thing to do is watch TEDtalks. Anything goes as long as it gets me thinking and the latest find about the power of the introvert from Susan Cain did just that. Click here for a quick path to watch it.

It's conditioned in many of us that extroversion and being the loudest gets you where you want to go, and the more I observe this in reality the more it makes me that really the case?  There are some amazing 'introverts' in the world, great thinkers who are at their best where they're working on something by themselves or fantastic strategists with the ability to make millions if they're given the right environment to work.  The more I look at it, the more I think that introversion gets confused with lack of confidence - I feel passionately with this one that B doesn't follow A.  I'm just going to say it - you can be an introvert and still be confident, and extroversion doesn't get you where you need to go.

Spending time watching this clip and thinking about the true meaning of introversion has had me sitting back and reflecting.  This is going to surprise most people that know me, and no sniggers please, but I'm introvert. Yep, you read that right.  I might be ok with standing up in front of people and delivering a training session, running a meeting or just having a conversation, but actually I'm at my best in my own company.  'Group think' is great for some things but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to think clearly when I'm surrounded by lots of people and really feel a difference if I take time out by myself. At one point I'd have absolutely described myself as an extrovert but things have definitely changed for me. As far as I can tell introversion doesn't mean you have to be shy...thoughts on a post card, or just a comment on here!

Enough about me and my indulgent rant, and swiftly on to the questions I'd urge you to think about...
- what is your perception of introversion?
- what do you know about the reality of introversion?
- what assumptions do you make about introverts?
- do you have a favourite...introvert or extrovert?!
- what are you?
- is there anything you need to change about the way you think about introversion?

Take some time to have a think...I hope it challenges some common misconceptions!

Happy reflecting x