Photo via Visual Hunt
In a recent LinkedIn post, founder of Quietly Powerful Women – Megumi Miki – shared four ways that introverts can increase their personal power.
Work on getting comfortable in your own skin.
Go outside your comfort zone from time to time.
Look after your energy by re-energizing in a way that works for you.
Know that introvert qualities can be powerful advantages.
According to the Institute of Social + Emotional Intelligence, ‘personal power’ refers to ‘a sense of self-confidence and an inner knowing that you can meet life’s challenges and live the life you choose; the ability to have the difficult conversations in life, and to speak your truth quietly, sincerely, assertively and appropriately’.
How might you go about implementing these four recommendations in your personal and professional life?
Here are some suggestions –
Speak words of kindness, acceptance and love to yourself.
Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, advocates regular ‘mirror work’ – the practice of looking into the mirror and saying positive affirmations and compliments to yourself. Women can be quite critical of ourselves when we look in the mirror, so this is a powerful way to flip that mindset around by consciously practising the opposite.
If something scares you, that could be a clue to your next area of improvement.
For example, I used to get anxious driving long distances to unfamiliar places. So I decided to commit to overcoming this challenge by saying yes every time I was invited to attend an event far from home. Within one year, I was able to make 80 km round trips with minimal stress and anxiety, and my feeling of competence and personal power rose correspondingly.
Replenish your energy in ways that suit your personality.
Each time you attend a networking event, speak in front of strangers, or launch a new program, an incredible amount of creative, mental, and emotional energy is expended. To protect yourself from feeling drained and depleted, make sure you take time off after the event to care for yourself in ways that suit you. This might mean unplugging from social media, avoiding social engagements and small talk, and spending plenty of quiet time on your own — reading, journalling, listening to soothing music, walking in nature, praying.
Be conscious about your nutrition.
What you eat affects your brain and your capacity for good judgment. Stay hydrated, eat well, and use quality nutritional supplements wisely.
Introverts often make great thinkers and listeners — qualities much needed in leaders and managers. It is said that good employees leave managers, not organizations.
How might you leverage these qualities to your professional advantage, while being in integrity with who you are as a person?
Be that person who takes the time to acknowledge a team member’s contribution.
Give others’ ideas the benefit of your thorough and respectful consideration. Make room for a diversity of views – not only from the ones with the loudest voices or the most dominant personalities. Invite the quieter ones on your team to share their thoughts (without putting them in the spotlight – because you already know how that feels!).
P.S. If you’d like to increase your personal power as an introvert in life and work, a good starting point is to know how you currently score for that competency — one of 26 competencies tested in the Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile developed by the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence.
Obtain your Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile here.