Quite a grand sweeping statement I know but I want to make it known to business owners that introversion is not a personality disorder or something that can be fixed with a good dose of weekend team building.
Introverts play a critical role in our business and without them we would not have a business.
But first let me provide an over-simplification of the difference between an extrovert and introvert.
An extrovert gets their energy from others. A good way to tell if a person is an extrovert is to check their social calendar and their phone address book. If their calendar is full of events and their list of ‘friends’ is more than 10, possibly reaching into the 100′s, then you have an extrovert.
An introvert would rather be at home with a good book/movie than out painting the town red. They have very few friends however the quality of friendship will last a lifetime. You will also find that most introverts will let the phone ring to voice mail. Introverts get their energy from within and most will need to recharge their batteries if they have been out socializing, normally by locking themselves away from the world for a short time.
Due to the rise of the ‘look at me’ culture permeating through all facets of society such as reality TV, excessive body art – tattooing and converting your body into a pin cushion, conducting a serious crime so you can get a million-dollar book/movie deal and other attention grabbing practices introverts have been deemed ‘strange’, ‘weird’, ‘having depression’ because they do not want to have the world looking in their front window.
Before the ‘look at me’ culture most people lived in small townships where everyone knew each other so it was your character that mattered not the amount of tattoos you have or the number of friends on your Facebook profile. But now most of us live in cities where people do not know each other so the initial impression is all the matters now.
I am an introvert and can honestly say I am very happy to be one. I avoid big social gatherings and prefer instead to go home to the wife and hang out reading a book or playing with the dogs. You will not catch me being the ‘bell of the ball’ at the local bar or catching up with my 15 ‘close’ friends over coffee.
I was not always comfortable with my introversion and always stressed myself out wondering why I hated the team building exercises, the office politics and the events you attend where the speaker somehow thinks that getting the audience to hug complete strangers will make you a happier person. I think most people get to an age where they know enough about themselves to understand that not everyone has to be the same and – you are who you are.
To reinforce the importance of introverts in society and the fact that its not a disability which requires group hugs to fix I have provided a list below of the people you may know who are in fact introverts. Without these people humankind would be a much duller species.
Sir Isaac Newton
W. B. Yeats
J. M. Barrie
J. K. Rowling
I think people need to get with the idea that introversion is not a disability or personality defect. Introverts are well known for being great listeners and loving the ‘small print’ – the detail of things.
Getting back to our business…
We provide advance solutions for our clients around email and social media marketing both require the ability to listen to our clients requirements and get to the detailed level of the solution. Software development requires the ability to be extremely detailed as there are no grey-areas with code – either its ‘on’ or ‘off’ (binary). We use introverts to gather the clients requirements and develop the solution as these tasks fit perfectly with the introvert type. Without introverts using their skills we would not have a great business.
So if you are an introvert – be proud of who you are and don’t change as the world needs you. Remember you are in great company!