As someone who has always been aware that I am an introvert but who didn’t understand what it really means and what introverts can offer within society, it completely changed my outlook and view of introversion when I watched Susan Cain’s Ted talk, “The Power of Introverts”. This 2012 Ted talk has had over 25 million views so it clearly resonates with a lot of people. According to Susan, a third to half of the population are introverts. Watching this Ted talk changed how I view myself, helped me to understand the value that I as an individual can add to society, why I prefer to avoid certain situations and what I need to nourish myself as an individual. I would go as far to say that it changed my life! Within business, being an introvert can be incredibly powerful – indeed many successful leaders are introverts. There are numerous behaviours that an introvert can bring to an organisation: creativity, critical thinking, consideration of all factors before making decisions, listening skills amongst others. However, there can be a tendancy to overlook or dismiss introverts within our highly interactive, extroverted world. One area where an introvert could be overlooked is that of executive presence. This article by Susan Cain provides some great tips and advice on how to harness an introvert’s executive presence. Things to consider are not putting too much pressure on yourself to be an expert at presence, instead being happy to be good enough. By understanding that presence is generated through giving your focused attention to someone in a genuine way. Presence is also a direct result of being confident about what you're speaking about - when you feel strongly and knowledgeable about a subject, this will naturally increase your presence as will the passion and energy you give out. A great article and lots of food for thought.
“Executive Presence” for Introverts By Susan Cain Yesterday I spoke at the HQ of a global bank, and during the Q and A following my talk, an HR leader raised her hand to ask an important question that I hear all time. So I thought I’d answer it here, and share with all of you. Question: I see many talented people who don’t get promoted, because they lack “executive presence.” How can I help them get to where they should be?