You’re in a meeting with the rest of your team.
Someone starts off with an issue they are having, and how they perceive it should be addressed.
Then the person to your left chimes in with their solution, and how the first speaker’s idea was wrong from the start.
But that gets questioned by a third team member, who jumps in on the conversation before the proceeding idea was even finished.
Back and forth the conversation goes, with most of the members talking over each other to be heard, and you try and take it all in as best as you can – listening to everyone’s opinions, finding the strings of clarity and good ideas in everything that is being said.
Before you know it, the half-hour allotted to the meeting is up, and everyone starts packing their things up to head out. But there’s one problem – you hardly spoke a word the entire meeting.
You listened intensely to what was being said, and have a great handle on what went on in the meeting: what went right, what can be improved, and how to synthesize that information into a direction the group should take next.
But that was never expressed to the team, and you are now perceived as a passive member who they should just delegate tasks to, instead of being seen as a contributing thought leader.
Introverts often get a bad rap. They’re viewed as passive, nerdy, not communicating well, and even having low confidence and self-esteem. These assumptions are mostly based off of common characteristic traits of quiet people that get distorted through today’s popular lens of extroversion, and are viewed as weaknesses – traits that hold reserved people back, getting in their own way of continued personal growth.