Introverts & Business
Introverts by nature are reserved and introspective creatures. They can be social but tend to get easily overstimulated in a group and seek out solitude to re-energise. They think things through before commenting and tend to be most creative when they’ve had time to process their thoughts alone. They’re often seen in the background observing rather than seeking out attention and when it comes to expressing their thoughts they prefer to write them down than speak them.
The Entrepreneurial Challenge
Charisma helps you make more connections, inspire your employees, earn trust faster and grow your audience. And it’s generally associated with extraverted people. Being social and outgoing also helps you meet new people at networking events (or even be willing to attend them in the first place). Entrepreneurs tend to work in fast paced chaotic environments and are in constant contact with people all day. So how does the introvert survive and thrive with these seemingly insurmountable challenges?
What Do These Guys Have in Common?
These guys are considered to be the world’s most famous introverted business leaders. Elon Musk, who’s been described as the next Steve Jobs who was once a reserved, introverted engineer recognised the power of communication and socialisation. He then forced himself to put aside his personal reservations to help his ideas flourish in an environment that favours extraverts.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was once described as shy and introverted, and someone that doesn’t seem very warm to people who don’t know him. Zuckerberg has been able to build charisma through his introversion, as contradictory as that may sound to build the business to what it is today.
Larry Page, the co-founder of Google was considered an odd choice as the CEO because of his highly reserved personality. But his quiet, intellectual nature allowed him to create an innovative new product and create a unique, durable brand.
Lessons from Introverts
Through their quiet alone time they tend to be a lot more focused on the task at hand or on planning the next steps. When introverts believe their ideas are good, they don’t back down, nor do they look for someone else to validate their position. While they welcome external validation, that validation is not a crucial part of the process, nor does it define or distract them from the ultimate goal. They have a clear vision about what’s worth pursuing.
Introverts like to make order out of chaos and they achieve that by listening, observing and analyzing a situation. Introverts may not be the best speakers, but they certainly are good listeners and tend to ask the right questions. Introverts also don’t seek the limelight. They prefer to have their work speak for them, and this can be an advantage especially as an entrepreneur. Neither extroverts nor introverts are guaranteed to succeed in the business world. Your success is determined by the actions you take, not by who you are as a person.
Introverts and Networking
Communication and influence are crucial to business success. And a good way to get past their fears of being the centre of attention and speaking to a group is to be prepared. BNI’s MSP training gives members the resources to be able to put together the best referral request. Just follow the formula.
Even in a large group, seek out one to one encounters rather than interacting in a group and after the meeting reach out to individuals and meet with them one on one. This is generally where most of the business is made.
There is strength in having diversity in a team with a common purpose. So if you really can’t get past your reservations as an introvert then hire an extrovert that you can put in social settings.
Put yourself and your staff through one of Hunt Consultants psychometric assessments. These assessments are great for identifying opportunities for training and the weaknesses that need to be strengthened.
So if you’re an introvert, whether you’re a member of BNI CBD Evolve or just visiting a networking group rest assured. You are normal. You have every chance of being successful as much as the extravert. And if you don’t believe me, have a one to one with Paul Tonks and find out how much one quiet introvert has achieved in his business.