by Patricia Weber | Featured Contributor
This month is International People Skills Month, and even introverts want to celebrate theirs.
Wait, are you thinking (or saying out loud) anything close to “introverts and people skills, hahaha!”
If you are thinking this, then you might miss out on the full potential of your introvert entrepreneurial advantage.
Here are just three truths for your consideration and appreciation.
Amazing people skills of the introvert entrepreneur
Introverts are good listeners.
In general people want us to listen more. This trait is in direct opposition to the people success skills people teach. We spend 45% of our time listening and yet spend the least amount of time learning to listen.
Likely you’ve heard of the often-referenced AM radio station that most of us tune into?
MMFI-AM is equal to, Make me feel important about myself.
Do you remember the last time either one of your employees or virtual assistants and you were talking, and you drifted off? Maybe so far away that you had to say, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening would you say that again?”
When have you enrolled and participated in a listening course, anywhere?
In management, sales and customer service everyone wants to feel important. By listening more, we serve this need and want that people have.
There is little research about who listens more, introverts or extroverts. The little personality type listening research you can find shows introverts listen more. This means we have more opportunities to listen better.
Introverts think before speaking
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
Our natural introvert tendency is to think before we speak. Often situations like meetings or negotiating move quickly, and that leads to us being criticized for not speaking up.
But we do speak when we are ready.
I interviewed Julia Barnickle for my most recent book. Julia is an introvert specialist, admittedly more of an ‘ambivert’, like me!
When we think before speaking we are sifting, sorting and preparing what we want to say about the problem or situation. Imagine being called into a banker meeting and not being allowed to reply, “I’ll need to get with my accountant to get you the financial statements you request.”
Thinking before speaking allows us to add more value to a conversation.
If we don’t honor who we are when talking with others, in this case giving ourselves thinking time before speaking in new situations in particular, then our contribution statement may not be as relevant as we want it to me.
Introvert preference for silence is an advantage
Some of entrepreneurship includes negotiating. In preparing for an interview, the reporter asked about some strategies to help the more introverted type to negotiate better in certain situations.
When we are listening, we are observing and thinking. Many people though are uncomfortable with silence in talking.
Can you recall being in conversation with someone and they don’t come up for air? Even if they ask a question, they keep speaking past their point!
Most of us need a few seconds to answer a question.
The thing in negotiating is to become comfortable with silence because of its disarming ability. In introverts this then allows our listening and thinking to kick into higher gear.
Being good listeners, thinking before speaking and comfort with silence build relationships. These are Amazing people skills of the introvert entrepreneur.
What other people skills come to mind?
How does the introvert in you bring them to social situations in life and business?
Want more specifics ideas about introvert strengths and how to use them? Grab the free 32-page excerpt the ebook The Happy and Fulfilled Introvert. Patricia Weber, the introvert inspirer, provides practical tools through – books, coaching, speaking and blogging for the introvert to navigate the rules at work.
Patricia Weber: I understand the possible difficulty of being an introvert in business and am on a mission to build the confidence of those more introverted, with a variety of practical tools to navigate communications work and life.
Since 2007, recognized internationally, on radio and in print, for most things introvert I blog at http://patricia-weber.com Followers, who regularly comment find the messages both resonate with them and inspire them.
My recent book, Communication Toolkit for Introverts: Find your voice in everyday business situations, is something a publisher asked me to write –imagine that.
If you are fed up with the often, uncomfortable extrovert rules, or tired of being tired, be ready to be inspired.
I am NOT shy. Many introverts are not either.
My work is not my life. I have other interests, in the past: had my own Harley Davidson (FX model no longer manufactured) until I slid horizontally a few times!
Also, we enjoy traveling. We go from one coast to another to have the joy of seeing my son and his family including two granddaughters. On occasion, it’s off to Europe.