Category Archives: introvert

Know About Introverted Leaders?

quizI wrote about how introvert power has taken the world by storm in my last post. Yet, there are still many misconceptions about introverts at work. For instance, many people think introverts are not able to promote their ideas or manage people.

In a great Linked In post called How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking, Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and a Professor at Wharton shares what he has learned from giving hundreds of speeches. A confirmed introvert, he explodes a huge myth I hear about introverts; that they don’t “do” public speaking. He refers to Susan Cain, whose famous TED talk is more concrete evidence of the how introverts excel at public speaking.

Take this short quiz to check out how much you know about introverted leaders and I will share the results on this blog. Have we ramped up our knowledge and exploded misconceptions in the last few years? Let’s see:)

Introverts finding their power

Introverts Finding Their Power

One of the many images on introverts onlineI

I once heard The Introvert Entrepreneur Beth Buelow  joke in an interview with Jonathon Rauch that only a few years ago when you researched the word “introvert”  “serial killer” was one of the top hits on the list of search results!

Beth is not exaggerating! One great result of the current introvert revolution is that awareness about introverts has increased exponentially. It is not unusual to get over 40 daily Google alerts in my inbox with everything from a great Pinterest graphic  to a moving blog post such as 7 Things A Quiet Student Wish Their Teacher Understood  by Marsha Pinto a teenager who writes for the Huffington Post.

I also enjoyed this recent insightful piece from Fairbanks, Alaska by Judith Kleinfeld called Quiet But Strong: Deciphering the Hidden Power of Introverts . I am glad the writer realizes that she can step into her own power by not changing who she is but by building on her natural strengths. As she is figuring how to do this she describes the differences between E’s and I’s.

“One of my friends, “Ned,” is basically an extrovert. He makes friends easily, is very talkative, loves to have parties and invites people he hardly knows to come over for dinner. Other people I know, like “Laura,” are typical introverts. They need time alone to recharge their batteries. Laura can be more extroverted when the situation calls for it. But she has chosen to be an academic, a career field which is particularly attractive to introverts since they can be engaged in solitary work.I myself am a good example of an introvert. I much prefer to spend my time alone writing this column or writing books than going to a party or just hanging out with friends. My favorite activities require a lot of solitude, like doing research or exercising on the treadmill while watching DVDs of cooking techniques.”

Extroverts are starting to pay attention to the needs of introverts and so, thankfully are organizations. Writing is power and with more quality media about introverts emerging we have a chance to see our society and our workplaces becoming more inclusive. I say, bring it on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Line Social Media Mistakes

On LIne Social Media Mistakes

Social Media Overload!

Did you know that quiet influencers and introverts use social media in a very thoughtful way to challenge the status quo, provoke new thoughts, inspire others and create change? But it is easy to get overwhelmed. Social media overload can feel like a never ending river of information. Because there is no end in sight, it is hard to limit your time and create a workable schedule. If you don’t, you will get stressed out before you’ve found the nuggets you need to formulate your influencing plan.

To help address this problem, I invited my friend Corey Perlman, author of the new book Social Media Overload!  to share his thoughts on the mistakes individuals and businesses typically make with social media and how to avoid them. His ideas are relevant if you are an individual or a business.

4 Critical Mistakes that are Sabotaging Your Company’s Social Media Efforts

By: Corey Perlman

Excerpted from Social Media Overload! 

A successful social media strategy can deliver results far beyond just generating new leads. It can help you strengthen credibility when decision makers are kicking your tires online. And while they’re in research mode, It can keep you ‘top of mind’ until prospects are ready to buy. Social media can also help you strengthen relationships with customers and enable them to become a powerful referral network for your business. But most companies fail to see these kind of results because of the critical mistakes I’ve outlined below. Review the list and see if there are areas where you can improve and take your digital marketing to a higher level.

1. Not Fishing in the right ponds

 Where are your customers and potential customers spending time online? Are they active on Twitter? If not, why should you be? You don’t have to be on all social media sites. REPEAT: You don’t have to be on all social media sites. Decide where your audience is spending time and plant your flag on those sites. If you’re typically targeting businesses, LinkedIn is probably the place you’ll want to spend the most time. With over a billion users on Facebook, chances are good that some of your prospects are active on that site.

2. Allowing your social media sites to die on the vine

 Nothing kills credibility faster than an untouched profile. I’d rather you delete the profile than let it sit stagnant with few followers or connections. Action: Take inventory of all of your social media profiles. Create a plan to consistently update them and build a following. Take advantage of sites like hootsuite.com that will allow you to schedule posts on dates of your choosing. If you decide it’s not worth the time or resources, delete the profile.

3. Not taking advantage of LinkedIn as a sales tool.

I hate cold-calling. Early in my career, I figured out I was terrible at bypassing gatekeepers and getting myself in front of decision makers. I had to find a better way. And I did so by using the Get Introduced feature on LinkedIn. It allows me to turn cold calls into warm leads. Simply look for potential decision makers that have a number two next to their name. That means they know someone who you know. LinkedIn is gracious enough to let us know who that mutual connection is and they facilitate a way for the mutual connection to introduce us.

As an example, say I found Sally Smith, President & CEO at ACME Enterprises. She has a number two next to her profile and LinkedIn tells me that our mutual connection is Steve Morrison. I’ve done work with Steve in the past, so I reach out to Steve and ask him about his relationship with Sally. Lucky for me, he knows her quite well. I then request that Steve INTRODUCE me to Sally. He does a marvelous job of setting me up as an expert and even I couldn’t screw up the sale.

It’s my favorite feature on all of social media and I hope it benefits you greatly!

4. Talking about your company, instead of your community

What could you share or write about that your customers and prospects would deem interesting or valuable? You should ask yourself this question before you share anything on social media. It doesn’t matter the channel. It could be your blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Twitter feed, I want you sharing information that will benefit your audience. Over time, you’ll start to build trust and credibility with them. This is, by far, the most effective way to sell your value and yourself. If you deliver this great material on the web, imagine what they’ll get by working with you.

Remember to always Make It About Them. It’s the golden rule to seeing results with social media. Remember to always Make It About Them. It’s the golden rule to seeing results with social media.

Corey Perlman is an entrepreneur, best selling author and nationally recognized social media expert. His first book, eBoot Camp, (Wiley) became an Amazon.com bestseller and received global attention with distribution rights deals in both China and India. He delivers keynote presentations and workshops to audiences all over the world.Corey’s company, eBoot Camp, Inc., is a social media marketing company that builds and manages online marketing campaigns for businesses.  To book Corey to Speak: http://www.kepplerspeakers.com/speakers/?speaker=Corey+Perlman

 

 

 

ALA Appreciates Introverts

 

ALA

At the book signing with Librarian Catherine Noble, an attendee at the Quiet Influence presentation.

 

It was a privilege to speak last week at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas, NV.  The focus of my talk was on how librarians can address the leadership challenges they face today not by morphing into Extroverts but by drawing from an array of “introvert friendly” tools and approaches.

Prior to the speech I interviewed several leaders who were attending the program. I learned about how maintaining relevancy, shifting to linked data and generational shifts in the workplace are some of the hurdles faced by librarians today. 

Libraries and librarians have had a special place in my heart. My Dad, Alvin Boretz was a screenwriter who grew up in the Depression and books where his lifeblood. The library was his second home and it became mine. Dad led the renovation and transformation of our local library. In an act of seeming reciprocity, the library system returned a gift to him.  In later years, his collection of scripts, notes, letters and research were catalogued at the Film and Theater Archives at the University of Wisconsin . I wrote a blog post about the wonderful librarian who took on the project as well as our visit to that special place.

I will always remember the warm reception and appreciation for introverts shown by the crowd. At the book signing after my talk participants received copies of Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide To Making A Difference and Steve Piersanti, CEO of Berrett-Koehler  spoke with a few of the people waiting on line.  One young woman, Jessica Johnson, a masters candidate in Library and Information Science at Emporia State University, shared the sentiment many people expressed.  She said, ” ……I felt that you were talking to me.  I can be myself and don’t have to try to be someone else.”

ALA-slide

 

 

 

Being An Introvert

 

Slide04

 

Thankfully the veil of confusion and ignorance over introversion is slowly lifting. More people realize that being an introvert does not mean you are a wallflower, misfit or anti-social geek. They realize that introverts have many strengths and draw on their vibrant internal energy. The explosion of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a plethora of press attention on introversion and the popularity of Susan Cain’s book Quiet and others have all contributed to this welcome shift.

Between 2009, the publication date of my first book, The Introverted Leader and 2013 when Quiet Influence came out I have tracked this openness to learning about the topic of how Introverts can thrive and how we can get the best out of them in the workplace.  As an example, here are some comments I received after a program I delivered last week at Freddie Mac where introversion is being embraced and seen as another key element of valuing differences:

“ I didn’t realize I really am more introverted and need to honor my time for solitude.”

 

“I learned a lot about my sister and her potential to become a great leader. I also learned more about the introverted part of myself. “

 

“ I am going to swing by my boss’ office today and give him his needed face time.”

 

“I reached out to a colleague by phone rather than email, I really needed him to hear my voice.”

 

How much do you know about introversion? Take this quiz to test your knowledge about how being an introvert and using the strengths of quiet influence can make a real difference in getting results.

 

 

Introvert Qualities: Listen and Learn

Introvert Qualities “Engaged Listening helps you understand what’s going on around you, what people are thinking and feeling, threads of themes, and even what key pieces of the puzzle might be missing.”  p. 74

Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference

How is your listening going lately? Could you use a tune up? In what situations might revving up your listening power help you learn more?

I have learned so much about the introvert qualities of listening and pausing as I wear my interviewer’s hat. Gathering research for a book on successful Introvert-Extrovert work partnerships, I listen to recorded stories driving around Atlanta, taking neighborhood walks, and sipping drinks at my local coffee shop. The audio recordings of these sessions reveal rich tapestries and clues and I am both moved and totally engaged. While the puzzle pieces are yet to be assembled, strong themes are emerging. I know that listening will provide the answers I need.

Engaged Listening is one of the introvert qualities that lead to successful interviewing. I hope you find some of these interviewing tips useful.

 

Jennifer Kahnweiler’s Five Tips for Successful Interviewing 

  

1.

Provide questions to your interviewees before talking with them. It helps them to reflect on the answers. This is an introvert sweet spot btw. The responses you get will be thoughtful and well considered.   

2.
Pause after asking a question. You extroverts might struggle with this one, but believe me, it works. Count “1, 2, 3” in your head and don’t try to fill the silence. Ask them if they need more time to think and then let them take it.
3.

Record the interview with your interviewee’s permission. I use the recording feature on GoToMeeting and love it. Don’t worry about getting everything down on paper and replay the audio to hear voice tone and nuance.

4.
Ask open-ended follow-up questions to explore avenues that pique your interest. For instance, “Can you give me an example?” or “Take me back to that day and describe in more detail what occurred?”
5.
Encourage your interviewee’s questions. You might have overlooked what could turn out to be a nugget. A fave question of mine is “What question haven’t I asked you?”

Come Learn With Me at Mobile Business Academy

FinalLogoDave Basarab #1

I am so fortunate to have friends who are doing such cool things! Dave Basarab is one of those people who may just be revolutionizing the learning scene. This week his brainchild,  Mobile Business Academy, 12 years in the making has launched and It is bound to be a big hit.

Dave has brought over 30 years as a training expert and learning professional to the problem of finding time to learn. And he has emerged with a beautifully elegant and simple solution called “Learning Bursts, ” which are 8 to 10-minute talk-show style audio casts with accompanying punchy workbook material, They cover subjects like innovation, marketing, creativity, collaboration, being brilliant and introverted leadership.

Bursts can be downloaded and listened to wherever and whenever, making world- class business training accessible for busy people on the go. Companies like IBM and Booz & Co. have successfully trained thousands of employees using Basarab’s learning burst methods. And lucky for us, they are now available to anybody and everyone for a very reasonable cost.

I was honored when Dave asked me to offer The Introverted Leader  in the first wave of offerings. As you will hear in our recorded conversation about the launch (at the top of this post) he calls the learning burst approach “voyeuristic”,  similar to listening in on a conversation. We recorded my bursts in his kitchen over a cup of coffee and you might even hear cups in the background!

Dave reminded me that we have learned through stories for thousands of years and it is the way we are introduced to life before learning to to read. This audio approach with written reinforcement (all the short workbooks have quizzes and summaries)  is truly time tested.

Listen while waiting in line for the groceries or driving in the car by downloading them to all your devices. How easy is that?  And since we learn best in short segments, only one topic is covered at a time. Hear snippets of any of the many bursts as many times as you like.

I am upping my game by listening to Simon T. Bailey’s Shift To Brilliance.  Browse all 5 programs and download your samples today.  Like with any new venture, feedback on the content and delivery system is welcomed. Won’t you join me on this learning journey? I look forward to it!

Librarians Exert Quiet Influence Behind the Scenes

Genevieve S. Owens_Read Poster

ALECTS President Genevieve Owens

In preparation for my talk at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas, NV on June 30th, I have been following the lead of my hosts and doing my research. It has been quite a learning journey so far.

The division that has invited me is called ALCTS  (pronounced “Alects”),  The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Their President, Genevieve Owens, is a true introverted leader who uses her quiet strengths to direct the Williamsburg, VA Regional Library. She told me ALCTS members are involved with Cataloging and Metadata, Acquisition and Ordering, Collecting and Managing Materials and Preservation.

Some of you may remember the blog post I wrote last year called Libraries (Quietly) Rock  about an encounter with a wonderful Archivist named Maxine Ducey (now retired) at The University of Wisconsin Center for Theater and Film Research. She was the careful guardian of  my Dad, Alvin Boretz’s script collection for  50 years.  Dad depended on librarians in a pre-internet age. They were his true research partners. These fine professionals will always have a special place in my heart for this and many other reasons. And as I learn more about the complex challenges today’s librarians face, my admiration only increases.

In my phone conversations with them, several have described their “behind the scenes roles.” David Miller, Head of Technical Services for the Levin Library at Curry College in Milton, MA  told me, “Our outcome is not visible. Like in theater, no one sees the designers and technicians but without them, the event doesn’t happen.” It seems to me that these professionals are the best example of Quiet Influence, making a real difference without a lot of fanfare.

Librarians are fighting for relevancy and want more tools to do so, Genevieve told me. Resources are not free and staff are needed to help us navigate the many data bases out there. Have you noticed coffee bars in libraries and community events taking place in your local library? These are all designed to meet the public where they are. The ALCTS members also told me that the biggest change is the shift to Linked Data and Metadata. New skill sets are needed for this movement away from the traditional catalog. In a day of tight budgets librarians are asking, “What practices do we want to keep?”  “What can be abandoned to build the collections we want? The library is a “growing organism,” David Miller said.

In a future post, I will share what librarians really like about being research librarians. Stay tuned and tell me what your experience has been with librarians. I would love to hear about it.