Having placed myself in the ambivert spectrum, it took me a while to discover that I’m an introvert for the most part. I realized that I was annoyed most of the time at work and couldn’t figure out why.
My role involves talking to people(colleagues, prospects, developers, customers) and it involves multi-tasking. When I’m working on replying to an email, I’d have someone ping me and say that I better answer this other email and I’ll also have my colleague drag me into a call suddenly. I would feel like I didn’t achieve anything by the end of the day and also feel incredibly drained.
I’ve been reading articles online to understand if this is a common scenario across the globe. They say “Introverts are stuck in an Extrovert’s world” The intent of this article is not to prove that point but voice out an Introvert’s annoyance, if it helps, to their peers and help them work better.
It’s a tough job, talking.
Introverts do not enjoy talking to people(though they might be extremely good at it) and the idea of doing it for a living is not exactly thrilling for them. If their calendar is filled with calls and meetings, try to see if you can take one or two off. Even if you can’t, please don’t add more to it! Introverts prefer email or text communication as it gives them the liberty to respond at their own time. Unless a call or a meeting is absolutely necessary, don’t pull an introvert off his desk to be there.
Work is like sleep
Imagine this, you go to bed and it takes 20 minutes for you to doze off. You’ve been sleeping for 10 minutes and someone wakes you up. You curse them but you can’t go back to sleep immediately but it’s going to take the same 20 minutes(if not more) for you to go back to sleep. Work is no different(at least for introverts). It takes a while for introverts to get into “Productivity Zone” and once they’re in it, they’ll be on a roll. But if they’re interrupted or disturbed(an email, a ping, a call or a meeting), they’ll lose the flow and they might not finish what they were doing and move on to something else.
Interrupt an Introvert on a laptop(with headphones plugged in) at your own risk. For all you know, he/she could be thinking of the next great idea to save the world.
If they’re not talking, they’re thinking. You’ll probably not see an introvert jumping up and down with ideas in a meeting. That’s because their mind is busy processing all the information they got and coming up with structured and planned ideas; or not. But an Introvert is unlikely to say something unless he/she feels it’s absolutely necessary. So don’t take silence for ignorance, ask them about their ideas.
Talking to an Introvert is like digging a gold mine, it’s tough work but then you’re going get gold!
A lot of articles say that modern offices are designed for extroverts. I agree. With the open cubicle set up, it allows anyone to just walk up to you and ask you anything. This annoys introverts as they prefer to work in solitude. However, that’s the world we live in.
Let’s help our fellow introverts. Even if you aren’t one, your friend probably is.
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