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Sunday
Mar042018

« 2. EQ at work for Introverts »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. MBTI coach with over 25 years MBTI experience, and author of the new book: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."

Are you an Introvert? If so, this article on emotional intelligence and EQ at work is especially for you! Being an Introvert on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) means that you are someone who gets your energy from going inside, thinking things through and reflecting. 

You may, as an Introvert, prefer to recharge your battery in quiet situations, and prefer peace and quiet in your working environment.

Sadly, work environments do not always support the Introvert's style and this can impact on their productivity and effectiveness. When this occurs it can produce a range of emotional responses, which is why developing more EQ at work can help Introverts. High levels of emotional intelligence can also benefit Extraverts but for different reasons.

For now though, let's consider how applying EQ at work benefits Introverts in particular situations, so Introverts can use their strengths.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

EQ at work: The situations that make it hard for Introverts at work

  1. There are many situations which may be noisy, and a noisy work environment is not always conducive to being able to work effectively. Consider the open-plan office - who ever said that was an emotionally intelligent workplace for an Introvert? EQ at work can apply to building design! The distractions, the noise, the talking, the constant interruptions, etc. can all make it difficult to concentrate and think things through. Yet Introverts are people who are skilled at thinking things through and working steadfastly on tasks and through problems. 
  2. Another work activity that many Introverts find themselves involved in is meetings. Meetings, unless they are run by an excellent Chair, are often dominated by Extraverts. Extraverts commonly talk more than Introverts and think out-loud. The ability to think out-loud and on their feet is a particular skill the Extraverts have. However, the down-side of this is that the Introverts may find it hard to hear themselves think, to interrupt or to be heard. The danger is that if they feel thwarted, ignored or dominated in these situations then they may give up and withdraw into themselves. Everyone then loses. Many an Introvert has left a meeting feeling that the opportunity to contribute effectively and equally was denied them. Yes, applying EQ at work in meetings can be very helpful.
  3. People in the workforce may be required to speak in front of large groups. This may not be easy for many Introverts unless they have high level emotional intelligence skills in managing emotions such as anxiety, fear and pressure. One part of giving a presentation that may particularly concern Introverts and add to their anxiety is the need to answer spontaneous questions at the end of presentations. They may feel inadequate at thinking quickly on their feet and feel stupid or embarrassed, even though they may be highly intelligent and knowledgeable. EQ at work is needed to develop confidence and skill in public speaking.

As an Introvert you may enjoy reading this book about INFJs, one of the 8 types of Introverts as much of it also applies to other Introverts. Also, there is a contribution by an INTJ, an INFP and an ISTJ, so other Introverts are represented. Click here to get your copy.

Let's look at ways Introverts can improve their communication skills in relevant work situations so they can feel better about their work, reduce the emotional cost they have to bear, and be even more effective. 

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EQ at work - Introverts: 1. Ask for time to think

If someone needs an important decision from you develop statements that you can use to gain thinking time.

For example, you might say, "I need to think this over, may I call you back in 30 minutes?", or "This is an important decision, I'll collect all the facts and get back to you tomorrow".  

This can help you feel less pressured.

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EQ at work - Introverts: 2. Ask for written information

Introverts like to read things and think them over, so ask for written information before giving a response.

It can be as simple as requesting that meeting agendas be sent two days in advance. Surprising as it may appear, I still come across workplaces that fail to issue agendas for meetings, to the detriment of the Introverts.

Read these in advance and it may be easier to have your say, as you will already have had time to think about the issues. You may feel more comfortable, therefore, in interrupting someone in a meeting.

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EQ at work - Introverts: 3. Speak louder

If you need to get your point across at a meeting, for example, you may need to temporarily raise the volume of your voice.

Introverts tend to speak more quietly than Extraverts and may therefore not be heard or be disregarded. You may feel more confident in being heard if you know that speaking louder will help.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

EQ at work - Introverts: 4. Be able to say you don't know

If you anticipate difficult questions in a presentation and are feeling anxious about thinking on your feet, then work out a really smooth way of saying "I don't know". It helps if you can leave yourself sounding good and the questioner feeling good.

For example, you might say, "Thanks so much for that question Azar, it is excellent and no one has asked it before. It is important that I give you the most up-to-date information and I know exactly where to find it. I will personally e-mail it to you as soon as I am back in the office".

No one loses face and you can feel more confident in handling any question.

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EQ at work - Introverts: 5. Re-arrange your workspace

Negotiate to move your desk, your office, or yourself to a quieter area, if at all possible. You may even find working from home is better on some days, if it is quiet. Alternatively, it may help to start earlier than others, or to stay later than most people, so you gain more peace and quiet.

In one organisation I was consulting for, I did the MBTI profiles on everyone who worked there and we ended up rearranging the whole office space. All the Extraverts were put together in one part of the building and all the Introverts were together in another. This meant the Extraverts could bounce ideas off each other and the Introverts could think things through. It worked well.

Emotions such as frustration, irritation and annoyance were indeed lessened and all the people were happier and more productive at work. Applying EQ at work can have many benefits.

How high is your EQ at work?

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EQ at work for introverts: Get to know your type, increase communication effectiveness and lower conflict

There is so much that you or your team can learn so that you develop greater understanding of, and skills with, your communication, personality and relationships at work and home. The EI Institute has a number of options to help you:

  1. If you are an INFJ or live or work with one, then this 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one." As an Introvert you may enjoy reading this book about INFJs, as much of it also applies to other introverts. Also there is a contribution by an INTJ, an INFP and an ISTJ, so other Introverts are represented. Click here to get your copy.
  2. Meditation appeals to many introverts and we have a very popular audio-download on meditation called: "Happy Not Hassled". A perfect way to introvert and stay healthy.
  3. There is superior 1-1 coaching; and the MBTI is included as part of our smart leadership coaching package. You can find out your MBTI type and develop the skills you need, with Rachel Green.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.