Introversion as an Asset

Are you usually quiet in social situations? Would you rather enjoy a good book than hit a loud nightclub? In executive coaching, you’d be defined as an introvert: typically shy, low key and more inwardly thoughtful than outwardly expressive. According to an opinion piece in the New York Times, shyness and introversion might be considered not as symptoms of mental illness, but as healthy personality traits.

The article demonstrates that introversion can work well for a person. Executive coaches find a person’s strengths, and many individual strengths are in line with introversion.

A few takeaway insights from the perspective of an executive coach:

  • There are quite a few famous and successful introverts – Among them are Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Even President Barack Obama displays certain traits of an introvert.
  • Introverts can have an advantage when it comes to leadership and managing a team. According to the article, they’re more likely to listen to others and implement their advice. They also have more humility then extroverts. Executive coaching encourages openness to feedback.
  • A thoughtful introvert can put the brakes on a bad business deal. The article explains that introverts are less impulsive then their extroverted counterparts. A cautious nature can stop a sudden major business decision from turning into a disaster.
  • Introverts often have no problem working alone. One famous lone worker is Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple computers. According to him, most inventors, engineers and artists prefer to “live inside their own head.”

Being shy doesn’t make you sick. In executive coaching, it’s part of who you are. If you’re not a social butterfly or public speaker, then perhaps you’re a better thinker, planner or leader. It is always healthier to play to your own strengths, rather than yearn to be different.

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