Millennial Ryan Jenkins Gets Introverts

I am so grateful to have friends like Ryan Jenkins. Ryan is a dynamic speaker and blogger and has deep knowledge in all things Millennial. It helps that he is one. We have had many stimulating chats about his generation. Where do introverts find a place in the world of technology and in groups? How can you work a day job and build a vibrant, thriving “side hustle.”

Ryan’s energy and smarts comes through on his regular podcasts. He does his homework and reaches out far and wide to find experts to challenge conventional thinking.  If you like what you hear, then do take a minute to rate and review his Next Generation Podcast on ITunes.  It will help his thoughtful dialogues find an even wider audience.

This recent podcast is reflective of our natural conversations. One of the topics we discussed is why introverts are natural leaders for Millennials (hint: listening is involved). Thank you Ryan for keeping it real, being such a curious soul and appreciating the introverts in your life (including maybe you?)

Title: Next Generation Catalyst Podcast #011: Finding Quiet Influence In A Noisy World And The Rise Of The Introverted Leader With Jennifer Kahnweiler [Podcast]

Recovering “Nice Girl” Celebrates Women

Last month  I received a call from a woman on a mission (Yes, it IS unusual to get a call from a stranger these days, unless it is from a telemarketer). The voice on the other end was from a  Laura Nack a leadership and life coach who knew what she wanted. She said,  ”Jennifer, I am a recovering nice girl who learned all of the lessons I was taught growing up in the 50′s. Combine this with a natural introverted personality type and you get a person who does not have her own voice. “

Laura has learned to climb out of this hole and is passing on her insights to others. She has asked a few of us to join in the discussion. The Vital Voices in Women’s Leadership Series  is a 7-Session Tele-workshop is “for women who want to become even more powerful, whether it is in their personal or professional lives, with their families, or in their communities.” It starts next week on April, 17th, 2014.

Here are some additional thoughts from Laura. You can hear the commitment and passion in these words.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th and is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Actually, I was surprised to learn that In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. Women’s Day started in 1911 and honors the work of the suffragettes, celebrates women’s success and reminds us of inequities still to be redressed. Let’s celebrate and also move forward!

 Inspired by the stories I have heard from so many women who crossed my personal and professional path and propelled by my own journey as “recovering nice girl”, it is my pleasure to present Vital Voices at the Table- Women in Leadership- A Spring 7-session teleworkshop for women that starts 4/17/14.

 The time has come that we learn together to shift our “nice girl” narrative to become an equal capable and masterful participant in the world around us and for us to act as a collective, to support, mentor and coach every single woman so she could realize her professional dream and rise to the top.





Sometimes NOTHING Beats Being Alone

I am reposting this blog entry from last fall. Introverts know that being alone allows for presence and being open to an experience.  Have you taken a walk on the quiet side today?


I recently attended the show Harmony, a musical playing at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. I went  to this engaging show about a singing group in pre-WW II Germany alone and had a great date with myself. With no partner occupying the next seat, I had the chance to commune with my thoughts and feelings and check in with my experiences during the production. I felt totally in the moment and fully present with the unfolding love stories, Nazi encroachment and dicey group dynamics.  As I left the theater and transitioned to the outside world I actually found the audience chatter distracting.

I recommend the show to my friend Sean and he LOVED the play. In fact, he texted me about it during intermission and right after he left the theater to compare notes. Sean said that his introverted partner doesn’t like to talk out his reactions and that is frustrating for him. Why?  Because Sean is an extrovert and he needs to express himself and “text it out” to make sense of the experience.

I am sure I would enjoy going to a play with Sean.  It can be wonderfully enriching to connect with others  who can bring new light to the experience. However, there are times that absolutely nothing beats being alone.



Connecting Down Under



Friends told me that when you go to Australia, you need to listen carefully.  ”Even though you THINK you speak English it is American English. You are sure to miss things”, they said.  And they were right.

Sitting at my first session of the National Speakers Association of Australia in Melbourne, I found myself straining to acclimate to the new dialect, the humor and the slang. Learning to order coffee (“long black”) and having “brekky”( breakfast) with my new friends took some concentration. So did remembering to enter the left side of the car and walk down the street without crashing into people. They walk on the left – go figure:). Continue reading

“I’m Told My Listening is Intoxicating! “

I am so pleased that Pearl Alexander decided to speak from her heart and write this wonderful piece about her experience as an introverted HR leader. Called “Leveraging Diversity of Temperament,”  Pearl fully embraces who she is and calls for extroverts to let her speak. Continue reading

Exceptional Speaker Shares Secrets

The Exceptional Speaker 3D


I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague, Alan Stevens about his latest book co-written with Paul DuToit,  The Exceptional Speaker.  It is a practical, treasure trove of speaking tips for presenters of all levels.  Alan is an expert on building and protecting your reputation. He is also an international speaker, author, MC and media commentator. His clients include high-profile individuals and companies such as Virgin, BP, The Dorchester, Sony Ericsson, BMW and Mumm Champagne. Contact Alan at  or visit his site at

Listen to our interview and learn why:

*You shouldn’t tell jokes

*Why you much prepare “well, alert and long.”

*Almost anyone can raise their game

*What British CEO is tongue tied off the stage?

And finally, the preview to his three tips to combat anxiety:

Practice and Rehearse, Slow Down and Enjoy the Experience!

Hope you enjoy and learn from the interview as much as I did conducting it.



The Introverted Networker’s “Ace In the Hole”

I love when I speak with colleagues who walk their talk. I met my new friend and colleague, British networking expert Andy Lopata at (where else?)….a networking event!:) Back in December at the Global Speakers Summit’s opening reception we grabbed a few quiet minutes to gab about how introverts can effectively navigate these types of meet and greets. Andy is a business networking guru with a giving mindset. He gave me the stage and didn’t make the discussion about him (one of the first rules of effective networking).

Take a look at our short dialogue here. 

He is simply passionate about the benefits of networking and shares many tools though his website and  speaking, training and coaching programs.

An amusing aside:

Andy shares a bit of his personality on his website as well: “I was a typical moody teenager listening to The Doors, Hendrix, Lou Reed and Bowie while at Uni. I hasten to add, they had all long disappeared from the scene by then.” Well Andy, they were live when I Iistened to them in my university, or uni as you call it. I look forward to our next networking conversation where we can compare notes about these greats!:) 


Are Introverts Mad As Hell?


I am often asked why we are hearing so much about introverts. “They are everywhere”, someone told me recently. No, they have always been everywhere but now you are noticing their existence.

I stopped into to talk with Dave Summers who, among his other digital duties runs the Edgewise podcast at The American Management Association  near Times Square in New York City. Dave always keeps me on my toes with his provocative questions. This time he asked me about this new spotlight on introverts.  Dave said he sees introverts “stepping up and being who they are, whether it’s a book or show or a business network.  What do you attribute this new discovery to?” he asked.  Is it just that the introverts are mad as hell, and they’re just not gonna take it anymore???” 

Here is what I said in response to his question:

” I call it the “rise of the introverts”.  Part of it is the influence of the new wave of leadership where people are not command and control anymore. There’s more research coming out that says that people who are more humble, quiet and calm tend to get more results without a lot of noise, with those loud rattling of the sabers.” I shared some other factors as well.  ”You know global organizations now require us to flex in many different ways and not just have one way of leading, particularly in areas like Asia where an extroverted leader doesn’t always get it done. “ 

Listen to the entire podcast here.

Why do you think there is more attention to introverts now? Why are we experiencing the “Rise of the Introverts.”?

Quiet Influence Podcast with the American Management Association

Or read the transcript draft here: