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4 Books Introverts Wish You Would Read

4 Books Introverts Wish You Would Read

The latest estimates put the number of people who identify as “introverts” at 50%. That’s an increase of nearly 30% from a few decades ago. Could it be that the instance of the introverted personality trait is increasing as time goes on? Perhaps more and more people are gaining an understanding of the introverted personality trait and are identifying those aspects in themselves. Whatever the reason, books about introverts, extroverts, and the struggles between them keep coming.  Here are four books that take the reader inside the mysterious minds of those who identify as “introverts” and what it’s like to live in their worlds. You may find a little (or a lot) of yourself in these writings…

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    1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

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      Perhaps THE book that inspired the current love affair with all things introverted, Susan Cain brings us the vanguard writing on introverts and how they manage in a world where extroversion seems to lead the way while introversion is often viewed as something that needs to be fixed.

      Cain begins with a short history lesson recounting the U.S.’s culture shift away from the building of character and toward the “cult of personality” when we started to see extroversion as the gateway to personal and professional success. From there she moves on to extol the virtues of the introverted mindset and ends with a call to action for society in general to rethink its views of introversion in all aspects of life from how we educate our children to how we lead our organizations. The success of the book has spawned an ever-growing online community of introverts who connect on Facebook and through Cain’s website Quiet Revolution.

      2. The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiller, PhD

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      O Ginásio do Pacaembu recebeu, neste sábado (02/04), a 26ª edição do Jungle Fight Championship - by Pretorian, o maior evento de MMA da América Latina.

        Can introverts and extroverts work together successfully? According to Kahnweiler, the answer is a resounding yes, with exponential results. However the path to success can be fraught with opportunities for these tenuous relationships between opposites to break down. Kahnweiller discusses well-known opposite duos that have made it work, as well as some who failed, and she provides a 5-step process she believes will set these pairs up for success.

        3. The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, by Sophia Dembling

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          With chapter titles like “Quiet Riot” and “Hell is a Cocktail Party,” The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World could be taken as the heavy metal version of Cain’s Quiet…. Irreverent and un-apologetic, this book further illustrates the misconceptions and deep-seated biases introverts and extroverts have toward each other; and offers a “safe space” for the introverted among us to flip society the *quiet* bird for trying to change who we are.

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          4. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, PhD

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            Let’s get it out of the way right off the bat… all introverts are not highly sensitive and all highly sensitive people are not introverts. The terms are not interchangeable. However, evidence suggests that people who fall into the introverted category also have a higher incidence of what Elaine Aron terms “high sensitivity.” According to Aron a “highly sensitive person” is someone who may be easily overwhelmed by external stimuli like the light and sound one may encounter at a large gathering. The “high sensitive” may need to remove him- or herself from these types of situations in order to re-group and recharge. High sensitives may display more empathy, feel more deeply, and in general be more reflective than the less sensitive among us – traits also commonly attributed to introverts. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Aron characterizes Carl Jung as a high sensitive (1996).

            Backlash against the “new” love affair with introversion

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            Maybe it’s that introverts are getting all the attention or that they no longer feel they need to apologize for being themselves. Or maybe it’s because this country loves an underdog…Whatever it is, these days it seems introverts get all the love while extroverts are cast as loud-mouthed jerks be-boppin’ and scattin’ their way through life with all the self-awareness of a freight train. Either way if you are an introvert, work with introverts or otherwise share your life with introverts, these books provide insights into their worlds that may help you understand them (and yourself) a little better.

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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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