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How Introverts Can Use Silence to Their Advantage in Business

Aha Moment: Find a way to be heard  –  even if you don’t have the loudest voice. [Tweet]

Whether you’re an extrovert who thrives on a constant stream of conversation or an introvert who is drained by a lot of chatter, you’re still working to build your personal brand.

Making your voice heard isn’t usually a problem if your personality is gregarious and outgoing.

But, what if you’re quiet? What if silence suits you?

One of the Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of silence is “an absence of mention.”

It’s one thing to be quiet. It’s another for your name not to be mentioned when it comes to something that you have a specific capability or competency for delivering.

An absence of mention means your personal brand isn’t doing what it should.

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If you’re an introvert, it’s up to you to manage how people see your value. Here’s how you can build your personal brand.

Be a loud listener

The time and place for you to be silent is not during a meeting!

A meeting is a place for your voice to be heard and where your personal brand is on display.

When you’re not seen or heard, it’s a hard sell to get anyone to believe that you’re a valuable asset.

It’s imperative that you go in with a strategy.

For an introvert, the best strategy may be to take on the role of the “Loud Listener.”  

This person may be one of the quietest people in the meeting.

They don’t speak often, but when they do, they’re directing the meeting in a positive direction.

Loud listeners are taking things in: they listen, ponder, analyze, internalize, and wait for an opportunity to insert their authority and steer the group in the right direction.

A loud listener is valuable without having to say too much, by guiding the meeting to achieve its end goal.

It may be helpful to look a little deeper at the specifics of your meeting strategy.

Adding value as an introvert

Because you want to be seen as someone who has a lot to add to your team, as well as the company at large, mentally prepare before you even enter the room for a meeting with your co-workers.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Why am I here? Know ahead of time what your role is and go in with confidence.
  • What will I contribute? Be ready to lend your unique voice to the conversation.
  • What will people say when I leave the room? You want people to feel that they can come to you as a solid resource and trust that the information you’re giving them will be helpful and applicable.

You can make your worth known in any room by focusing on some specific details:

  • Ask insightful questions. Over-prepare for every meeting, being sure to have some questions ready that will display your knowledge and understanding.
  • Be intentional with appreciation. Show your gratitude to the people you have to connect with.
  • Be ready with a summary. Make yourself known as the one who summarizes the information with depth of understanding.

Your brand, your voice

Silence isn’t going to help you create your personal brand.

In fact, it’ll make you invisible and possibly cause you to be lost in the shuffle.

Think of it this way: If your company has to make cuts or is looking to promote someone, they’re going to be looking at who their most valuable team members are.

The ones who stand out will likely be kept on and considered for advancement, while excellent workers who are definite assets could be let go for the simple reason that they weren’t visible to the people who mattered.

Keep yourself in the game by standing out, even if it’s by being a loud listener.

Introverts can win.

Are you an introvert? What are your strategies to make your voice heard in the workplace?