Leadership Partners Blog

In Praise of the Introvert!

In Praise of the Introvert!  by Lucean Headen, U.K.

So often the social skills of the extrovert are considered the ‘ideal’ in western society that the value of the introverted contribution can get over-looked and introverted candidates can be under-estimated in the traditional interview. In many different fields studies have shown introverted traits to be advantageous, not the least that of student with the ability to tolerate periods of independent study and not be distracted by the need to socialize. In business and commerce we meet many executives who are quite reserved but who have developed the social skills to operate effectively. In some specialist medical occupations such as anesthetist successful performance has been associated with individuals who are detached, assertive, serious, self-critical and self-sufficient. These are also the traits that are unlikely to earn individuals high ratings in many interviews. The enthusiasm and spontaneity of the extrovert can be balanced by the thoughtful analysis of the introvert which ensures the rigor of a team’s thinking and prevents the premature launch of initiatives.

We should all sing with our own voice and recognize that while as individuals we cannot be perfect as a team we can be.

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