Image by Evgenyi Gromov
Many of us might not know that Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and also Elon Musk consider themselves introverts. Like many other introverted people, they have capitalized on their ability to listen well, stay objective, and find the answers in chaos.
Given their unprecedented success, why wouldn’t we want to harness the power and potential of introverts in our workforce?
Our Guest: Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D. — Author and Speaker
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., is one of the top global leadership speakers on introversion and is the author of a new book: Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces: How to Unleash Everyone’s Talent and Performance. Who better to talk about unleashing the power and potential of introverted people in the workplace, right?
First, I asked Jennifer what drew her to this unique workplace topic:
“I worked in a lot of positions in HR and leadership development and coaching,” Jennifer explained. “And it became a consistent theme that introverts were frustrated; they often felt overlooked and ignored. Everything was designed for the people who were the talkers — the loudest voice in the room. Since the diversity and inclusion conversation is so prevalent right now, I was surprised I couldn’t find anything on introverted people in the workplace. So I became almost a zealot about this!”
We’re glad she did. Now more than ever, with increasing dependency on remote work, many people who identify as introverts are making their mark in the workplace.
The Workplace Power of Introverted People
After explaining that introverts re-energize by taking quiet time — time that allows creativity to flow, innovative thoughts to development, and also deep reflection — Jennifer jumped into how to harness the power of introverted people:
“We must be more intentional about our hiring and culture practices. When we talk about HR, in particular, we have to ask ourselves: Are we including introverts in our planning and execution? Are they part of our diversity and inclusion plan? That must happen more. That’s when we change cultures; that’s when entire organizations change.”
“It’s not just a nice to have,” Jennifer said. “Because if we only listen to the loudest people in the room, half the voices and ideas aren’t being heard.”
As our conversation progressed, Jennifer and I also talked about her key findings while researching introverts in the workplace, how introverts are adapting to remote work (including those endless Zoom meetings), and much more. Please enjoy this episode of the #WorkTrends podcast. Then take a close look at how your organization integrates and respects people on both ends of the introversion-extraversion spectrum.