1) Who are you?
A co-author of the website www.introvertedleaders.co.uk
2) When did you first discover you are an introvert?
I had feedback on my Myers Briggs type for the first time in my early 30s but it was probably a decade later that I really appreciated the significance of introversion and what it meant for me.
3) What difference did this make to your life?
Understanding my introversion enabled me to be more confident about being me and doing things my way instead of trying to be like an extrovert
4) Which of your introvert traits/strengths are you most fond of?
My ability to do what I know is right without being influenced by what others think.
My ability to go to events and places and enjoy myself on my own without needing others.
5) What is the main challenge you face as an introvert?
When people know me well – unpacking my thinking. I have one conversation at step A and then after a few hours or days of working things through in my head I will have got to F but I will have lost my colleagues along the way as I didn’t take them through my thought processes for steps B,C,D,E
When people don’t know me – they think I am aloof or distant and not very friendly. So I have to make a very determined effort when I meet new people to be smiley and open.
6) What are your top tips for being a contented introvert.
See our website www.introvertedleaders.co.uk for lots of tips. My favourites:
I know I need to get some time to myself to recharge my batteries so I try to plan that into my day or week. If I have time for a lunch break I always spend it alone.
I arrive ‘on the dot’ for parties so it is easy to talk to the host and the few other people who are there. That way they notice and appreciate I was there and then I can slip away early when it gets busy.
I build relationships the way I do best – 1 to 1. Yes I go to meetings but my influencing and building rapport is mainly done before or after.
7) What/who inspires you?