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Quietly Fabulous: 8 Successful Introverts Prove the Negative Stereotypes Wrong

Quietly Fabulous: 8 Successful Introverts Prove the Negative Stereotypes Wrong

It may be hard for some of you to believe, but not every rich and famous person in the world got there by being boisterous and in-your-face all the time. In fact, some of the most intelligent, successful people are the quietest and most self-reflective among us. Many of the people on this list actually owe their success to the fact that they spend a good amount of time listening to and learning from others, and are not turned off by the notion of having hours to themselves with which to practice their craft.

1. Albert Einstein

Einstein is arguably the greatest mind in human history. Theories which he hypothesized decades ago are still being proven to be true years after his death. His theory of relativity has basically shaped theoretical physics and astronomy since its publication. Of course, none of this would have ever come to pass had Einstein not spent a great deal of time in deep thought. His dedication to the field of physics and astronomy required long hours of quiet study, but the results of his efforts changed the face of mankind forever.

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2. Steven Spielberg

The creator of Jaws, E.T., and Jurassic Park is a known introvert in the movie industry. But how else would he gain the knowledge and skills necessary to create the silver screen masterpieces he has throughout his amazing career if he had not spent thousands of hours watching and studying other directors’ works? The next time you tell your friends you can’t hang out, and then spend the next five hours watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix, think of Spielberg.

3. Mark Zuckerberg

It definitely is odd to think of the CEO and founder of the most popular social network in the world to be a bit, well, anti-social. But while the young billionaire is often at the heart of many large-scale presentations and speeches, he prefers genuine connection and intimate relationships to keeping a large posse of followers around. Think about it: he invented Facebook in his dorm room. If he hadn’t spent so much time creating the website in his room, you wouldn’t be able to waste so much time on Facebook in your dorm room!

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4. Larry Page

It’s incredibly ironic that the co-founder of Google, a system which caters to the needs of billions of people every day, is considered to be an introvert. We tend to think of introverts as people who aren’t really in tune with their fellow man, but seeing as Page has predicted societal trends correctly for the past two decades, it’s safe to say he’s actually more in tune with humanity than most of us are. However, despite the fact that his company is omnipresent in today’s world, Page himself remains “personally reserved” and “unabashedly geeky.”

5. J.K. Rowling

Rowling has gone on record to say that when the idea for the character of Harry Potter struck her, she was stuck on a delayed train with no pen, and was actually too shy to ask for one. Of course, being shy is not synonymous with being an introvert, but it is a tell-tale sign that she would rather think and work alone without bothering or being bothered by others. Had she not been stuck on that train for hours longer than originally planned, perhaps she would never have dreamt up the character who would make her a billionaire.

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6. Warren Buffett

The world-famous billionaire investor may have had a keen eye for business ventures from an incredibly young age, but he initially lacked the “businessman persona” needed to actually put his ideas into action. Since interacting with others didn’t come naturally to him, Buffett enrolled in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” seminar early in his career. As with most of his other decisions, it’s pretty clear this investment turned out to be a great one for Buffett.

7. Steve Wozniak

You would think someone with an awesome nickname like “The Woz” would be a boisterous extrovert. But, like everyone else on this list, Wozniak loves working alone. In his autobiography, Wozniak writes: “Work alone. Not on a committee. Not on a team.” The sentiment in this short piece of advice is clear: he believes his ideas are his and his alone, and should not be homogenized by working with a group of people who may distort his original vision.

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8. Barack Obama

The leader of the free world is a known introvert. This might seem counterintuitive to such a high-profile position, since the President will always have to work with committees and groups consisting of people who may or may not agree with his policies and ideas. However, as previously mentioned, introverts believe in their own ideas wholeheartedly, and won’t bend for anyone else simply to appease the masses. Such a stoic, solitary personality, free of indecisiveness, is exactly what is needed to lead a country to prosperity.

Featured photo credit: Albert Einstein painted portrait _DDC9392 / thierry ehrmann via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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