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7 Ways Introverts Can Succeed In Self-Promotion At Work

7 Ways Introverts Can Succeed In Self-Promotion At Work

Psychology is a huge aspect of the modern workplace, especially in terms of optimizing productivity and motivation levels. It is widely accepted that business leaders can take small but positive steps towards improving the psychological outlook of their employees, as they look to create an empowering environment for every team and individual employee. With employee morale so pivotal to prosperity within the workplace, investing in a positive workplace environment makes perfect sense.

It is also far easier said than done, however, especially when you consider the fact that each individual member of staff is likely to have a different mind-set and a unique way of approaching and managing their workload. From ambitious and confident employees to hard-working introverts who place value in actions rather than words, a typical business leader is usually confronted by a host of personalities that require individual man-management styles.

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    How Can Introverts Promote Themselves in the Workplace?

    With this in mind, it is important that each employee takes individual responsibility for their levels of motivation, performance in the workplace and career progression. This is particularly important for those who are of an introverted nature, as these individuals typically perform understated roles and can often become frustrated by their lack of recognition and advancement. Consider the following methods through which introverts can promote themselves and their skills without compromising their nature: –

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    1. Place Faith in Direct Action and Positive Achievements

    On a fundamental level, there is very little difference between introverts and extroverts. Quite simply, the latter have a natural talent for self-promotion, which in some instances enables them to advance beyond less confident or articulate colleagues. Skilled managers should retain a comprehensive knowledge of their teams and employees, however, which allows them the opportunity to recognize the value that each individual adds to their business. Introverts should therefore focus on optimizing their output and performance in the workplace, and place faith in their manager’s ability to recognize these efforts.

    2. Own the Process and Develop your Organizational Skills

    On a similar note, it is also possible to shine as an introvert by actively showcasing your core skills rather than simply discussing them. Depending on your specific job role and individual responsibilities, for example, you may have the opportunity to adopt an organized approach to work and develop efficient processes for completing tasks. Through innovative thinking and an ability to own the processes that you oversee, you can display your value as an employee without the need to indulge in verbal self-promotion.

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    3. Accept Additional Responsibility and Commit to Working Hard

    While extroverts may be able to communicate openly and successfully articulate their skills into words, this will mean little unless they can support their assertions over time. For introverts without advanced linguistic or self-promotional skills, however, there is a need to rely solely on hard work and the end results of their endeavors. This provides quieter employees with an opportunity to gain an advantage in the workplace, so long as they are willing to commit to additional work and acquire further responsibility as they progress.

    4. Create a Talking Point Around your Work

    The art of deflection is a crucial one for introverts to learn, as it enables them to develop a professional reputation based on their performance and work ethic rather than personality. To achieve this, they simply need to create a talking point that is work-centric, whether this involves the methods that they use to achieve results or the sheer consistency of their output. This approach helps introverts to thrive in the workplace, as they can gain recognition without having to change their nature or attempt to express their skills verbally.

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    5. Change your Perception of Self-promotion

    Depending on your chosen industry and the nature of your workplace, you may find that it is difficult to develop your career through deed alone. If the mere idea of self-promotion continues to make you feel uncomfortable, however, this can leave you facing the prospect of stagnating in your role and losing enthusiasm for your career. With this in mind, you may be required to challenge your own perception of self-promotion, and consider it more as an opportunity to articulate your most valuable skills rather than an exercise in disingenuous showmanship.

    6. Learn How to Share your Professional Experiences

    Once you begin to consider the concept of discussing your skills as an exercise in self-expression, it is far easier to plot a successful and viable career path. It is also important to remember that you can talk freely about your value as an employee without excessively promoting skills and characteristics, especially if you choose to reference personal experiences that have influenced your career. This allows you to focus more on the lessons that you have learned during your career rather than yourself as an individual, which makes it far easier to communicate openly with colleagues and managers alike.

    7. Make Time for Yourself During the Typical Working Day

    From the perspective of an introvert, perhaps the single most difficult aspect of the workplace is the need to interact with others on a daily basis. This can be both challenging and exhausting, so it is important to identify the aspects of your job that are introvert-friendly and focus on these to create time for yourself. To achieve this, strive to create a working schedule that meets your needs, initially by spacing out meetings with colleagues and working from home for at least one day each week where possible.

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

    The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

    With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

    5 Types of Leadership Styles

    I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

    The Democratic Style

    The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

    The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

      The Autocratic Style

      The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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      The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

      While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

        The Transformational Style

        Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

        Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

        Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

          The Transactional Style

          Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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          The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

          The Laissez-Faire Style

          The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

          In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

          Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

          You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

          Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

          The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

          Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

          I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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          In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

          What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

          Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

          1. Context Matters

          Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

          2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

          When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

          As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

          “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

          The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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          As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

          When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

          The Way Forward

          To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

          As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

          “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

          The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

          If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

          Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

          Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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