Some introverts, like me are highly sensitive. We feel things deeply. I believe this characteristic is a good thing if kept in the proper perspective. The willingness to go deep creates great empathy for others and strengthens our intuition.
Strong intuition is the foundation for leadership and allows for better decision making. The capacity to feel for others ups our emotional intelligence quotient and engenders self- awareness in both us and in others.
Sensitivity is not exclusive of extroverts. Sensitivity shows up across the personality spectrum but in my experience, introverts tend to have a larger share of it since our nature is to be naturally reflective. Elaine Aron is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person and defines such a person as normal, with an innate sensitivity trait that is often misunderstood in some cultures, primarily Western culture. Highly Sensitive People or HSPs are often made to feel like something is wrong with them, that they are somehow deficient if they take too long to make a decision or hang back before jumping into a conversation. Sounds like Introversion doesn't it?
Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength wrote an article in Forbes about why introverts can make the best leaders. She said:
"Learning by listening, not talking, is a trait that introverts consistently demonstrate. They also use their calm, quiet demeanors to be heard amid all the organizational noise and chatter. (One thoughtful, reasoned comment in a meeting can move a group forward by leaps and bounds.) In fact, the most powerful person in the room is often the most quiet. "
There is lots of evidence that Introverts have the traits necessary to be successful. The challenge is that most workplaces do not yet espouse these traits and my mission is to help change that. It starts with having you recognize how unique and talented you are as an introvert. Ignore the rhetoric around "being more visible" at your job. Managers make the mistake of meaning that to be very literal- as in showing up more. You can "show up" more with mediums you are comfortable in such as writing or with one on one conversations.
I see you. I'm cheering you on.
Christian Marie Herron, is Story Mentor and Creative Consultant for entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives.