Introverts: how to express your personal genius in the workplace and relationships
By now you have probably realized that no-one has your perspective. At first, it may have come to you as a surprise that others don’t know what you know, but with time, you realized that you have made connections that others don’t seem to be aware of. It may have even gone as far as trying to express your perspective only be deafened by the sound of crickets when they stare at you blankly.
Sure, all in all, you think that you are similar to other people, but also, you have come to the conclusion that your authentic self - who you really are - is different, and as such, not so easy to express. You may even be used to the fact that people don’t “get” you and that trying to explain where you are coming from is futile. They will never be able to accurately represent your point of view, and you are tired of explaining yourself. But, the problem still exists: somehow, you will still have to exist with other humans. You have to be in relationships with them, you have to work with them and you have to communicate with them.
For many introverts, ambiverts and introspective extroverts this is a familiar story. They feel like they have a lot to offer only to be stifled by the shallow pool that most people seems to be playing at. At a global level, there is a deep frustration within the introspective community around lack of meaning and connection in how people operate on a day to day basis. To many introspectives, others seem to float around in the world, amoeba-like, with no purpose and no destination. Most introspectives want to dive deep for a meaning, authenticity and accuracy. Many introspectives want to change the world to be a better place.
The general consensus is that these deep thinking people are frustrated with their inability to express their genius in an effective and harmonious way. They want to show up and bring their strengths to the table, but don’t know how. This is particularly true in the start up world and the world of young introspectives who are still in the process of maturing into their authentic selves.
Having spoken to thousands of introspectives around the world about their struggles in being seen and being represented accurately, the conclusion is pretty damning: to show up and to bring their strengths at the table, introspectives need to learn how to be precise, effective, harmonious and connected in their communication. In other words, we need to learn how to bring our inner genius into understandable, bite-sized chunks of information and we need to learn how to relay the information to the recipient in an understandable and relatable way.
What this means is that introspectives have to learn how to use the extroverted parts of them to collect information about the audience and to deliver their message to the audience in a way that makes sense.
We all have 2 introspective parts of us. These are the parts that define your essence as the person that you are. We also have 2 extroverted parts of us that allow us to relate to and express ourselves in the outside world. When the expressive parts of us are strong, we are able to put our message across to others in an effective and harmonious way. When the expressive parts are not strong, we experience lack of belonging, loneliness, being misunderstood and misunderstanding others and being misrepresented.
There are 3 keys to resolving these issues: discover your essence, strengthen your skills of expression and practice, practice, practice.
Do discover your essence, book some time in to deliberately introspect. Who are you? What are your top 5 values? What in others really inspires you? What do you loathe? What makes you feel uncomfortable? These questions will start you on the way to a deeper understanding of who you are, what you like and what you don’t like. As this exercise can awaken the right, more emotional, side of your brain, I encourage you to write your findings down, so that you engage the left side of your brain as well. Engaging both sides of the brain helps you to stay focused on the task in hand.
Now, let’s move on to strengthening your skills of expression. Take your notes from the previous exercise. Highlight the items that are difficult for you to express or that often lead into misunderstandings with others. For example, you may have a good intent that goes unnoticed by others. Write down why you think that is. Why are others misunderstanding you? Is it because you never told others exactly where you are coming from? Is it that they have a preconception of where you are coming from and that you need to break that preconception before moving into the matter in hand? Simply starting a sentence with - “I’m wanting to explain exactly what I mean, so can you bear a minute while I find the right words” can be a game-changer in getting your point across. Introspectives often feel the pressure to express themselves perfectly off the cuff in unexpected situations, and as such, don’t even think to ask for time to learn the skill of self expression. Yes. It’s a skill. Anyone can learn it.
Next, you have to practice discovering your essence and sharpening your skill of expression. This is where most introspectives fall down. We mistakenly think that by understanding something, we have learnt it. That is simply wrong. True learning does not happen until we have repeated the task to the point of being comfortable with it. It is likely to take at least 30 times of consciously doing something differently until you begin to embody the learnings. Knowing is not the same thing as doing. You need to practice, practice, practice. Thousands around the world have done this and are now living much more purposeful and happy lives. If they can do it, you can do it too!
If you found these exercises helpful, but want to take a deeper dive into your personal essence and your skills of expression, contact us to discuss how we can help you. We are not one of those automated funnel -kind of people. We are real people whose mission it is to support others grow. We would love to speak with you about your needs. If you are feeling particularly introverted and don’t want to speak with anyone - I know sometimes I feel it too - you can simply start your discovery journey with our best-selling 4 People Within course.
Whatever you end up doing, share your progress with us by connecting on social media. The fruit of your introspection is important to this planet and the advancement of the human race, even though you may not have realized it yet. Please don’t hold it back. Let us all benefit from your individual genius.
Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash
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