Many of the people around us are introverts. Introversion is not a disease. It’s a type of personality. One need not be unhappy that he is an introvert.He should celebrate his introversion.
The virtual world , designed by us over centuries , appears to be favouring extroverts. Extroverts are known for their spontaneity and liveliness in the social gatherings. Obviously we like these attributes as we are social animals.
In the bollywood movie , Rab ne Banadi Jodi, Sharukh Khan is an introvert by nature. He finds it very difficult to win the heart of his newly married wife. He changes his attire and body language to make friendship with his wife. The new Shahrukh Khan gets closer to her heart with ease. What makes introvert’s life not so easy in many situations?
Introverts are not outspoken and they gain energy by having “alone time” and extroverts think loudly by speaking and gets re-energised in social gatherings. Introverts get tired after spending a few minutes in the group as social gatherings are not their source of energy.
Even the brain functions differently for both the type of personalities. Front part of the introvert’s brain is most active whereas the back part of the extrovert’s brain is most active.
Researchers estimate that there are 50-74% extroverts in the human population. So the rules of the game are made for them and majority of the work environments more suitable for extroverts. Having good social skills is a norm in almost any job.
People are expected to speak up in the meetings and in the brainstorming sessions. Typically introverts find a difficult time to put through their ideas in the noise made by extroverts. Introverts need to understand their limitation and plan to make their points in the meetings. Host of the meeting also has to make sure that each attendee gets an opportunity make their points . Introverts are known for giving brilliant ideas. Agenda driven meetings are more effective.
Introversion is not a hinderance for the success. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook , is a very reserved person and is a classic introvert. How a not so social person can build the empire of social network , facebook?
Even the companies embrace a personality by accident or by design.
Let’s look at two of the Indian IT Services companies , Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services(TCS). Infosys adopted extroverted culture focusing on PR. It tries to attract media coverage.There are quite many case studies of Infosys being used in the top B-Schools of India.
TCS maintains relatively low profile and focuses more on execution. It’s ex-CEO S.Ramadorai , who served TCS as CEO for more than 10 years , appears to be soft-spoken and to be an introvert. There are very few case studies of TCS being taught in the B-Schools of India.
Introversion is an asset if we recognize it and understand our enrgy usage patterns. An introvert can contribute better if he has a break in between the meetings to get re-energized.