Introverts are often withdrawn and quiet. At work, this can lead to them being overlooked. Expert Sylvia Löhken gives tips on how introverts can be successful at work.
Many introverts feel that in order to be successful, they need to change – to be more outgoing, louder, and more outgoing. A fallacy, says author and career coach for introverts and extroverts, Sylvia Löhken. Former Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz are also introverted. Löhke knows how introverts react in certain situations and gives advice on how to successfully master five typical situations in everyday working life:
1. Show your own performance: Lots of introverts would think that bosses would automatically notice their good work, Löhken says. In truth, however, it is not always clear who does what in everyday office life. She warns: “Perceived competence is a big part of professional success.” Especially when working from home, the expert advises writing an email to the boss, for example, when an important task has been completed. It also helps to talk well about colleagues and successful projects of your own.
What is introversion?
What is introversion?
Introvert literally means “turning inward”. In the meantime, brain regions can be used to show how introverted we are with certain characteristics, says Sylvia Löhken. There are three areas:
2. Working in chaos: Introverts work best in a quiet environment without constant stimulation like noise, Löhken says. In the open-plan office, noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs or retreating to a conference room would help. She advises introverts with a lot of human contact, for example in gastronomy, to take regular breaks: “It can be a walk, sitting in a restaurant or a power nap.” It is also important in the home office that introverts take care of themselves. “If I, as an introvert, have two preschool children jumping around in my home office and a partner who is doing a video conference next door, I still have the stimulation,” describes Löhken.
Boris Schafgans DGPh
3. Convince in the conference: Conferences would actually suit introverts, says Löhken: “The really important decisions are agreed beforehand.” That is “intro-fair”, because this agreement takes place in a one-to-one conversation. So that introverts do not remain silent in the meeting, she recommends: “It is good to make a certain number of contributions.” In video conferences, introverts could use chat to avoid being ignored. They could also announce their concerns to their boss in advance.
4. Don’t give in to criticism: Introverts can use linguistic strategies to deal with critical comments from colleagues. For example, if someone says “Your numbers can’t be right,” Löhken recommends a bridge sentence as an answer. These are phrases used to ward off unfair verbal attacks and get back to the actual topic at hand. One possible answer is: “We were also quite surprised, we checked the numbers twice and they are actually correct. The question is: why are they like this?” It is important to always remain friendly and express yourself clearly.
5. Master the presentation: Giving a speech or presenting something is pure stress for some introverts, says Löhken. The ritualized speeches have an advantage: when one speaks, the others listen. Exercise will help. “The more often we experience and survive this situation, the safer we feel,” says Löhken. For a successful presentation, only one structure is required, for example the five-sentence technique. This is a fixed structure with an introduction, three content-related points and the core message at the end. Structured thinkers could even build impromptu speeches quickly. Löhken gives all introverts a quote from country singer Dolly Parton: “Find out who you are to do it on purpose”. So if you are an introvert, you should first get to know your strengths and weaknesses yourself, find a way to deal with them – and thus become successful in your own way.