Tag Archives: introvert

What Can Project Managers Learn from Introverted Leaders?

This podcast planning flow chart is an example of how Velociteach
practices project management principles in everything they do! 

 

Who Are Project Managers?

I have always admired project managers (PM’s). Their organization and ability to pull together disparate projects on deadline and under budget is impressive. Often promoted from their technical homes in Engineering, Science, and Technology, they get work done!

Influencing people without having formal authority also means that project managers need to refine and sharpen their skills in communication, persuasion, and negotiation. I have found that successful Introverted leaders have learned to use their natural strengths like listening and preparation to accomplish these tasks. They have many lessons to offer PM’s who must navigate their roles up, down, and across the organization.

Partnering with PM’s 

Working with a vibrant project management training company called Velociteach, I developed a course based on the lessons learned from these introverted leaders across a wide variety of industries and organizations.

In preparation, I stopped into the Manage This podcast studio and was interviewed by Bill Yates and Andy Crowe, the executives at Velociteach. As seasoned PM’s, they opened up about the challenges and benefits of leveraging their introverted and extroverted sides. As an extrovert and introvert “Genius Opposite” pair, you will hear how they balance each other out. We also had some good laughs in our time together.

The whole staff threw themselves into the development of my new course and worked the material themselves. We had a number of stimulating conversations about how their own personality preferences served them. Jordan Demers, Media Arts Designer and one of the course developers shared her learning about embracing her own “pause” as an introvert in one of those exchanges.

What You Get from Taking the Course 

Together, we created a compact course with hard-hitting lessons and numerous practical tools.  It is called The Introverted Leader: Leading a Team In Today’s Extroverted Workplace, and it is getting strong reviews.

The good news is you will receive 4.5 PDU’s after listening and watching. There are also lots of handouts and many tools!

I believe this online program is engaging and informative. And as a member of my community, I am pleased to offer you 15% off the regular price. Just use the promo code INTROVERT15 and you are ready to go! Whether you manage projects as your full-time job or just as part of your work, I hope this course helps you gain more control over your work. I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from Introvert Island: The Power of Quiet

The beach at Spring Bay, British Virgin Gorda. Photo taken by Adam Goldberg https://agoldbergphoto.com/

 

I recently returned to the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. It’s been a year since Hurricane Irma reaped its devastation, leaving 95% of the quiet island’s residents homeless and without power for weeks. 

Rising from this storm, came numerous stories of resilience and inspiration. Neighbors helped neighbors. Private individuals stepped up and volunteered with donations of food, supplies, and funds to help the island get on its feet again. People created new jobs for themselves. Out of the “mash up” as they called it, folks are slowly getting their footing. You hear the sounds of buzz saws and drills everywhere. And there was great applause as one small guest house was finished hours before the guests arrived. 

The post-traumatic stress of this event impacted everyone, but slowly tourism is returning and houses are being built. We loved visiting with our friends on the island who we have known for over 35 years. They smiled, but keep working together to rebuild.

I wrote the post below 2 years ago, but the lessons about quiet and calm are even more relevant to me in the shadow and aftermath of Irma. 

Calling Mom 

As I sat on a beach in the British Virgin Islands, I called my 96-year-old mom, Lucille. It was snowing in NYC and I wanted to make sure she was safe and sound in her apartment. After assuring me that I “shouldn’t worry,” I held the phone up to the sound of the gentle waves and described the bright blue sky to her. Mom had been to that same place 30 years before and she described snorkeling from that same beach. The fish were beautiful, she said. I told her she could still visit that place anytime she wants to by closing her eyes and imagining the quiet, serene scene of warmth and sunlight. I want to follow my own advice.

Introverts Know How To Get Quiet 

One of the many strengths of introverts is that they are able to get quiet and engage in an active inner life. One way to do that is through guided imagery. WEB MD says, “You can achieve a relaxed state when you imagine all the details of a safe, comfortable place, such as a beach or a garden. This relaxed state may aid healing, learning, creativity, and performance. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitude, health, and sense of well-being.”

Introverts Can Be Alone 

Introverts relish being alone. Stepping away from phones, the news, and the busyness of life allowed me to step into my introverted side and be present. I noticed the changing weather, the sounds of roosters, the soft breezes, the far away airplane engine, and even a barracuda’s sleek lines as we passed each other under water.

Early one morning I walked to a nearby beach. I sat down and leaned against a large boulder. Except for the crashing waves and my footprints in the deep, wet sand I was totally alone. It was exhilarating and so rare an experience in today’s world.

Return to the Island 

Thanks to the brain’s ability to take me back, I will conjure up that scene when I start to feel overwhelmed or anxious. I believe it will become easier the more I do it. I can return to the island and regain the power of quiet. Guided imagery is a gift we all have access to any time, in any place.

Quiet introvert Emma Watson is heard

 

 

This week at a press conference at the Davos Economic Forum  a young actress  shared some of the results of her now famous rallying call for gender equality. She also announced suggested actions for participating in this movement and how her organization will be seeking concrete examples of change.

Emma Watson, former Harry Potter star and leading British actor is a self proclaimed quiet introvert. In a courageous way she is using her platform as the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador to fight for gender equality around the world.

In an inspiring speech she gave at the U.N. last September, she first asked men to take up the mantle to support women in a new “HeForShe” movement. She believes that the movement will be helped by men AND women speaking up to protest injustice. 

Ms. Watson said that her passion and the importance of this issue helped her to overcome her pre- speech nervousness and self-doubt. It is apparent that  the preparation she put into both speeches helped her be poised and articulate. When quiet introverts who are not used to speaking put time into preparation the results clearly pay off.

I do encourage you to listen to her stirring speech and hear her eloquently describe her own experiences, share some sobering stats about women and explain why she is so strongly committed to seeing change occur.

“This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN…we don’t just want to talk about it….”

“Men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

“Feminism has become an unpopular word….it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it because not all women have received the same rights I have. “

“…both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.,

This quiet influencer and introverted leader has wowed millions and given us a focal point for change. She has already made a tremendous difference by getting the world to pay attention.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Extrovert Personality Traits Work on A Mission To Mars?

Extrovert Personality Traits

Extroverted Spaceman played by George Clooney

I have some bad news to break to you Extroverts itching to  jump on board the next NASA Mars Mission. You best wait for some Introverts to balance out the equation.   According to an interesting new study reported in Live Science  extrovert personality traits contribute to success but need to be balanced with those of introverts.

The research team of  experts pulled data from previous space missions as well as  mission simulations of a 100 days or more.

Study researcher Suzanne Bell  of DePaul University in Chicago spoke about the plusses and minuses of having Extroverts aboard. She said that the talkative extrovert can really get annoying to the introverts on the flight.

The article described it this way, ” Typically, extroverts — who tend to be sociable, outgoing, energetic and assertive — are good to have on work teams because they speak up and engage in conversations about what needs to be done, which is good for planning, Bell said. And because of their social interactions, extroverts tend to have a good understanding of who knows what on a team (such as who the experts in a certain field are), which helps foster coordination.” 

The researchers said that the extroverts may have a hard time adapting to the lack of stimulation.

“People who are extroverted might have a hard time coping because they want to be doing a lot; they want to be engaged in a lot of things,” said study researcher Shanique Brown, a graduate student in industrial and organizational psychology at DePaul. “And [on these missions], there won’t be that much to do — things become monotonous after a while, and you’re seeing the same people.”

Bell noted that a team of all introverts is also not the solution. The question is, where’s the balance, and once we find the balance, what can we do through training” to promote team compatibility?” she said. 

The article focuses on the pros and cons of extrovert personality traits on board. I can imagine that the introverted personality traits of solitude, careful preparation, focused conversations and a high tolerance for calm are a few of the assets out in space.  I wonder if George Clooney’s fate in Gravity is an example of what happens to Extroverts on their way to Mars?:)

 

 

 

Being An Introvert

 

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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.

 

 

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!

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!:)