Introvert at the OfficeExtroverts are sociable, conversationalists, and energetic—who wouldn’t want to be one? Well, introverts wouldn’t. That doesn’t mean that they’re not happy or don’t like being around others.

Introverts can get a bad rap for being too quiet and are often mistaken for being uninterested or aloof. But these deep thinkers are misunderstood! Here are five reasons you should feel good about your introversion and how to utilize those strengths at the office.

You’re a Good Listener

“There’s a word for people who are in their heads too much: thinkers.” —Susan Cain

The reason why it’s so important to be a good listener is because there are so many bad listeners out there. People who talk more than they listen often come off as self-absorbed and even inconsiderate (even if they’re not). By actively listening to your boss, coworkers, and those who work for you, you’re demonstrating your respect for their thoughts. Plus, you’re absorbing a lot of information that can help you make the best decision down the road.

You’re Independent

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

While teamwork and collaboration are excellent ways to get the job done, they’re not the only ways. In fact, scientists suggest that you should work alone when creativity and efficiency are your top priorities. Good news, introverts love to work alone and actually need that alone time to be most productive. Bonus: you’re also rarely bored or lonely. After conducting your research and compiling your findings, you’ll be better prepared for when it does come time to have a team pow-wow.

You Talk Deeply

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Talking for the sake of talking (i.e. chit chat) isn’t a bad thing. It’s great for touching base and developing a relationship with your colleagues. But if you’re looking to solve a problem, have a healthy debate, and stimulate fresh ideas—deep talking is where it’s at. Talking deeply means talking with a purpose, and that’s a discussion that gets problems solved. For introverts, these discussions are most enjoyable and beneficial in the workplace.

You Do Your Research

“Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.” ―Marcel Proust

We all know that reading is great for the mind—so great in fact, that it can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Some of us don’t read as much as we’d like, but introverts usually find a way to make time for it, especially when it comes to preparing for a project or meeting at work. Performing thorough research by reading up on relevant materials before diving into any task is a great way to gain a well-rounded frame of reference.

You Get the Job Done (Quietly)

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Instead of calling attention to a problem or boasting your success from the rooftops, you just do the work. Because introverts don’t rely on getting stimulation from other people, (they get it from their own actions instead), they don’t always have the need to share their “news” with others constantly. Working behind the scenes, carefully chipping away at large tasks, generating insights through solitary analytical thinking—these are all fantastically productive traits of an introvert.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Take Susan Cain’s quiz to find out.

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