How Introverts Can Communicate Effectively

While quiet people may have trouble being heard over all the noise, they do have attributes that they can learn to use in ways that will help them stand out:

1. Plan ahead and be prepared

Since introverts like to be prepared and think things through before speaking, meetings present a challenge for them. Often the more outgoing members hijack meetings and get all of the attention.

If you are a quiet person, suggest to your manager and team that meetings be scheduled so that everyone has a certain amount of time to speak. Introverts like to prepare, and having a certain amount of time allocated will ensure that they are heard. It also cuts down on interruptions and free-for-all sessions that work to the advantage of the loud personalities in the group.

Suggest that everyone prepare what they are going to say ahead of time and send it to the other team members. If your manager and the team insist on a loose meeting structure, you can still ask for specific time to do a presentation that you have prepared. Let everyone know that you will answer questions at the end when you are complete. Claim your time and protect it.

2. Practice public speaking and thinking on your feet

One of the best ways of being noticed is to become an effective public speaker and be able to think on your feet. For introverts both can be difficult and the thought of public speaking can be terrifying.

That is where organizations like Toastmasters International can be a great help. In a supportive environment, even the shyest people can overcome their fears and increase their confidence in speaking to groups of people. Table topics, an aspect of toastmasters that challenges members to speak off the cuff on a topic that they are given, is a great way to learn and master the skill of speaking on your feet.

3. Use listening skills to develop deeper relationships

Introverts often find themselves on the sidelines at work, watching groups of extroverts carrying on long conversations with colleagues and chatting up the boss. Often they feel left out as they don’t feel as they have the same time of influence on their colleagues or their managers. Since managers may not know as much about their quieter members, who tend to share less information about themselves, they may be less comfortable in recommending them for promotion.

One advantage that introverts have in their interactions with others is their listening skills. These can be used to develop deeper relationships that will connect them with their coworkers and managers.

In one-to-one situations they can get to know people on a deeper level, remembering important things about them to ask them about in later conversations.

For example, remember the things that are important to your boss, such as the names of his wife, children, dog, and his favorite music. If you have a trouble remembering make a point of writing it down right after speaking to him. Then before you talk to him again, review the information and look for opportunities to seamlessly ask him questions about his favorite things in a one-to-one conversation.

Remembering things about people and asking them questions will subconsciously make them remember you. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and has a special place in their heart for people who remember what is important to them and take the time to listen to them.


Read More At Fast Company.