That’s what a recent study cited in this New York Times article on the value of introversion said. That’s confirmation of what you already know if you’re an introvert. The most interesting thing about the piece was the fact that it was written now and moved onto the list of most emailed stories within 24 hours. That study concluded that introverts listen well and are more willing to incorporate the ideas of team members.
For introverts – whether you’re also shy or very adaptive in social situations – casual observation seems to show that we’re not well equipped for the always-on 21st century. They (well, “we”) do best with time to reflect and think. They seek ways to square inner and outer experiences. And they need to restore themselves with periods of less input. That doesn’t sound like the roller derby of tweeting, doing, selling, and relentless opportunity-seeking at a pace to scoop the competition. It sounds like the extroverts have the advantage.
Maybe not. Introverts bring focus, depth of attention, and a capability for creativity, which may be an outgrowth of the first two. And if introverts listen, in part because we are engaged in that inner and outer experience comparison, we’re especially capable at collaborating with others. Productive collaboration may be the job skill of this century. Has the introverts’ time really come?
What’s your experience as an introvert in this extroverted century? How do you offer valuable differences to colleagues and teams? How do you create advantage as an introvert?