Listen to the audio or read below for the transcript. This episode is 6 minutes long.
Happy Tuesday, lovely! I’m Andreea, your host here on The Introvert That Could Podcast. Every episode is a mix of tips on productivity, time management, and how to move forward when you’re stuck, with a sprinkle of motivation and a side of relevant personal stories. I want you to have all the tools and support your need to face the challenges of being an introvert and take action, because without action, there are no results. Let’s dive in!
Welcome to episode 16!
Today we’re exploring the most typical trait of an introvert and how you can stop seeing it as a flaw.
I’m talking about human interaction, of course, we hate it! We love our time alone, talking on the phone creates actual physical pain, we stay quiet in meetings, and most of us prefer writing instead of speaking. And yes, we can see how this might create problems.
In my time as an employee in software companies, I had quite a few managers. And I vividly remember that for a couple of them, the only “negative piece of feedback” they had for me during the annual reviews was the fact that I don’t express my opinions in meetings. Basically, they wanted me to talk more. They were so serious about it, and they made seem extremely important.
To be honest, in my introvert mind, I was thinking: “I’m not saying anything because there’s nothing interesting to talk about!” Because if something was indeed important, I did raise my hand. Plus, nowadays, with the daily stand up meetings, everyone gets to talk about what they’re doing anyway. Still, I made myself, I forced myself to have something to say, even if it was useless. And they were happy about it! You know what that is? That’s bad management. Trying to change someone, instead of using their skills? Bad, bad, management. Shame on them.
However, that didn’t stop me become a team leader to a team of 10 men. Why? Because I’m a great listener, I’m a great planner, I can analyse and express information for upper management in a way that’s meaningful to them. This is what introverts do. While we shut the hell up, we think. We are capable of seeing the big picture, create a vision and then have the extroverts to work for us to implement it. Being quiet is a not a flaw, is an asset, but you have to know how to use it, and so do the people who work with you.
Some jobs definitely work better for an introvert than others. You can still do anything you want, but you have to find a way to make it work for you. For example, for me the podcast works much better than doing YouTube videos because I can be more private. I absolutely love sending the weekly email because I get to write. I had a blog for 4 years before expanding to what I do now. Also, I prefer teaching rather than coaching, though I do both. But the fact that I get to make my own rules and get to be exactly who I am, that’s priceless.
Anyway, I can’t stay away from people, I am still a human being and need connection and interactions. Even just selling my products requires talking to other humans. Plus all the day to day interactions of course – if something breaks, I have to be capable of calling someone, because not everyone replies to their emails or texts in 5 minutes, but they do pick up the phone.
And I have a great tip for you today, that I’ve been using lately. As a challenge for myself, I volunteered to help out at the reception desk of one of the Yoga studios I teach at for a few hours on Saturday morning. Reception desk means a loot of human interaction. I welcome and chat with everyone and if there’s a new person coming in for a trial class, I have to pitch them our memberships at the end. On my best day so far, I signed up 5 people in 1 hour. This takes a lot of my energy, and I usually spend the rest of my Saturday with Alin and the dogs, avoiding any other social activities.
But how do I do it? How does an introvert become a sales person for a few hours and doesn’t die? Simple. I pretend to be someone else. From the moment I open the door until I lock it up again later in the day, I’m not Andreea anymore. I created a persona by thinking about someone who does this job very well and I try to copy them for the whole time I’m there. This way I don’t feel absolutely any negative emotion about chatting to people or selling them stuff. I’m enjoying myself and do my best to offer the customers a great experience. It’s a role I’m playing, so it has nothing to do with me. Plus, when you do this for a company, not yourself, you intellectually understand that whatever opinion the customer has, it’s not really about you as a person, but about the business you represent.
This is not something that I came up with, it’s widely used. And you might know this if you’re a super fan, Beyonce is someone who used it too. At the beginning of her career she was very shy and felt awkward to dance freely and wear the clothes she was supposed to wear on stage. So she invented this alter ego, named Sasha Fierce that took over when she was ready to perform. When she eventually became comfortable with her new status, Beyonce merged these 2 personalities and publicly announced that.
So the question is… who do you need to be to do what you have to do? What does it mean to play the role of being that person, if only for a few hours a day or a week?
That’s something to think about, so I’ll end this here, wish you a great week and talk soon!
This was it for this episode, but if you want to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or find me on Facebook and Instagram. But the best thing you can do is sign up for the Life Lesson Letter, the weekly email I send out every Thursday with new content and insider-only freebies and details. Sign up now and you’ll get instant access to all available goodies, including the latest PDF “From overwhelm to taking action: 6 steps to find more time in your day, declutter your to-do list and get things done“. Just go to coachmeamazing.com/lifelessonletter
Thanks so much for being here and I’ll catch you on the next one! Have an amazing day!