Monday, December 02, 2013
You did it. You succeeded through rigorous rounds of interviews, proved your qualifications and earned yourself an offer for a good job with a good company.
In reality though, the battle is just beginning. Even with an impressive track record, new employees are often accompanied by a degree of uncertainty and thus need to be proactive in earning the respect of colleagues and superiors by proving themselves in the trenches.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few strategies that newly hired employees (at any level of the hierarchy) can deploy to do just that.
1. Quantify results. Odds are you were hired to solve a problem so naturally the most critical factor in earning respect is quantifying how you are systematically making that problem go away. This requires clarifying expectations with management early on, so your focus is directed at driving results that matter to the company. Once expectations are clear, being able to simply explain how you’re adding measurable value (whether through lead generation, sales, support, etc.) is fundamental to earning your stripes.
The problem though is that a lot of new hires stop here, assuming respect is a product of performance alone. It’s worthwhile noting that the most highly respected individuals at a firm don’t just drive results, but also supplement their own prodigious performance by adopting some of the principles listed below.
2. Make your colleagues’ lives easier. Sure, you may be a top-flight doer but you can amplify your reputation by simultaneously helping others elevate their performance. For example, perhaps you can recommend a new piece of technology that streamlines processes and vendor management, such as HubSpot in the marketing world. HubSpot provides all-inclusive software for analytics, content/client management, email and much more.
You could also pursue this strategy by tutoring colleagues in your area of expertise. For example, someone in the IT department might earn respect by giving non-technical colleagues a lesson in time-saving Excel hacks. Yet another way to make your colleagues’ lives easier is to proactively improve workplace conditions. “I learned this lesson when I was 13 years old,” says John Paul Engel, president of management consultancy firm Knowledge Capital Consulting. “I worked in a kitchen and there was grease an inch thick under the counters. It was disgusting. I stayed late and worked until the kitchen shined. Pretty soon I was promoted and winning company awards. Before I left that restaurant I had worked every job.”
3. Make others look good. Terrell Owens was an exceptionally talented NFL wide receiver who played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he garnered negative press coverage for bad-mouthing his teammates. Forbes placed him on its list of “America’s Most Disliked Athletes” in 2012. The lesson is that even if you’re the business world’s equivalent of a Pro Bowl player, you still might not earn respect if you’re a jerk.
By contrast, if you can not only perform at peak levels but generously share credit with your collaborators when it’s due, your reputation will likely advance beyond colleagues who have spectacular technical skills but who hoard praise for themselves.
4. Take a genuine interest in others. If top performing new hires show no interest or appreciation for those around them, there might be respect for their work but no respect for the person. Therefore, to earn respect in the workplace, you need to give it as well. This idea was quantified by Christine Porath, assistant professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Porath conducted extensive research on the topic with Christine Pearson, professor of global leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management, for the forthcoming book “Mastering Civility.” “In our research, one of the most important ways that we’ve learned people earn respect is by listening,” Porath says. “Listening is essential for creating, maintaining and deepening relationships: it signals caring and commitment.”
With that in mind, new hires can build respect by getting to know co-workers and what they care about without ulterior motives. This genuine interest can not only help establish a mutual rapport but also provide a better understanding of the issues facing your workplace. You can then potentially use your skills to lighten the burden of those challenges.
Monday, December 02, 2013
There are countless examples of the establishment criticizing the style or behavior of a new order on the up. In music, swing icon Louis Armstrong strongly disparaged bebop cats when the style was developing, much as classic turntablists currently criticize producers and disc jockeys who perform with advanced technology and software. Not surprisingly, this phenomenon has penetrated the modern workforce in the negative stereotypes many baby boomers and Gen-Xers associate with Gen-Y or millennial colleagues.
This idea was quantified in the recent “The Gen-Y Workplace Expectations Study” by Millennial Branding and American Express. The study found that while millennial employees generally think positively about their managers, those more mature managers have negative associations about millennial underlings and co-workers. The findings are included in “Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success,” written by Millennial Branding’s founder Dan Schawbel.
Considering such, let’s take a closer look at two of the major negative stereotypes millennials are likely to face in the workforce, why those stereotypes exist and how they can be addressed.
1. Millennials aren’t loyal. The Future Workplace’s 2012 study “Multiple Generations @ Work” found that 91 percent of the millennials surveyed expected to stay in a job for less than three years. Consequently, pejorative associations have arisen that Gen-Y employees are loyal only to themselves and will jump ship for another opportunity the moment a job has become anything less than ideal.
Solution: Think inside the box. There are plenty of compelling reasons that might lead a professional to seek a new employer. However, Teddy Dziuba, a 29-year-old new business/underwriting manager who has stayed at his post at a Massachusetts-based wealth management firm for a half decade, points out that many of his peers are compelled to seek new opportunities not because they’re in a bad environment but because of their hyperactive wiring. “It is not enough for millennials to be sitting at a computer completing a spreadsheet,” he says. “They have to be checking Facebook, listening to iTunes, sending a text message and Snapchatting a photo of their cluttered desk WHILE working on that spreadsheet. This is not a slight on my peer group, it is just an unfortunate compulsion to have constant and varied stimuli, which also causes millennials to get tired of the status quo very easily and seek new challenges via new employment opportunities.”
To break this first negative stereotype, millennials might consider thinking inside the box, by exploring if those new challenges and stimuli can be attained at their current job, before deciding that hitting the job boards is the only effective solution. “Try to make the most out of your situation before moving on because maybe you’re able to transition to a different position in the same company or even create a new position,” Schawbel says.
Should any of these alternative tactics prove possible, then you’ll have the resources to show a meaningful tour and upward progression with a single employer. With that kind of track record it becomes much harder to suggest you can’t play it the company way.
2. Millennials don’t respect hierarchy. Millennials are arguably most notorious for being “the trophy generation;” a group rewarded consistently by helicopter parents for mediocre performance, as a way to shield damaged feelings. This perspective worries many more seasoned professionals who believe that because of their soft upbringing, millennials expect to be a part of executive discussions at work without a track record, disregarding the time and energy required to climb the ladder and earn prestigious distinction.
Solution: Win a race before asking for the trophy. Sources like TheLadders report the workforce may be evolving toward a less hierarchical structure, since the fastest growing jobs shy away from managerial responsibilities and instead call for detailed subject expertise. Still, millennials need to remember to prove themselves by engaging in all the behaviors that earn new hires respect before asking for anything bigger or better.
Monday, December 02, 2013
If you’ve been having trouble landing a job, there may be good news on the horizon. The Career Advisory Board’s 2013 Job Preparedness Indicator, an annual study designed to identify skill gaps between what candidates have and employers seek, found that U.S. hiring managers are more confident than ever. In fact, the study suggests 86 percent of hiring managers are at least somewhat confident the job market will improve in 2014, up nearly 20 percent from 2012’s study.
Just because the economy may be on the upswing doesn’t mean job seekers should get complacent. The survey also suggests that few hiring managers believe job seekers have the right skills to land the job. It notes that only 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits their companies are looking for in candidates.
Alexandra Levit (http://www.alexandralevit.com/), business and workplace author, consultant and Career Advisory Board member, suggests the following tips to help make yourself more marketable as a job seeker:
Showcase past results. Hiring managers want proven candidates. Most people would hesitate to take a risk on someone who claims he or she can do the job. As a result, many employers prefer to hire internally because they already know the candidate and can anticipate the person’s potential. It is up to you to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate. How can you prove yourself worthy and overcome this objection? Levit says: “Assuage their concerns by clearly demonstrating why your past employers were better off because of your efforts and how those efforts relate to what you’ll do at the new organization.”
Be sure your résumé and all job search marketing materials focus on your skills and accomplishments. List specific results you created for your employers and be clear about what impact you had at work. Another important tip: Be sure to highlight your role in any results, and don’t let it get lost in a description of how your team performed.
Train and retrain. If you’ve been in the workforce a long time, you’ll remember when employees used to rely on employers to suggest and provide training opportunities. “In increasing numbers, employers believe professional development is the individual’s responsibility,” Levit notes. Take charge of your own professional development: proactively sign up for coursework, volunteer assignments and other programs that will keep your skills fresh and relevant.
Roll with the punches. One thing you can count on in any workplace is that things will change. Employers want to hire people who can be flexible and adapt as needed. “Show potential employers that you are adaptable, can maintain a positive attitude and work effectively no matter what happens tomorrow,” Levit says. One way you can feature your positive, flexible approach is via your social media streams. Avoid complaining – even if the complaints have nothing to do with work. Include information in your updates to show that you can roll with the punches. For example, “Was surprised, but excited to learn we’re changing how we handle invoices. Can’t wait to learn a new system.” The alternative is unlikely to win favor: “Couldn’t believe they’re making another change. I wish accounting would get their act together.”
Monday, December 02, 2013
Can you define what professionalism looks like? Generations, cultures and backgrounds may define the behavior and actions associated with professionalism differently. And now that our world is truly global and multi-generational, do we need to set some standard expectations for professional behavior? Maybe now is a good time to start the discussion.
Outreach etiquette. The term “networking” is fairly common in the United States. It describes the act of a person proactively reaching out to meet with a person of influence or for the exchange of mutually beneficial information. In some circles, referrals or networking is the only way business gets accomplished. Yet, networking can literally be a foreign concept to some international students. In fact, even in this country, people’s opinions vary on how it should and shouldn’t be done.
Reaching out to someone you would like to meet requires respect and professionalism. What does that sound like? The answer lies in the eyes and ears of the receiver. To send the right message and one that will result in a networking connection, you’ll want to learn how to cater your message to the desired audience. The more you know about the person you want to meet, the more customized and meaningful your message will be. Test it and evaluate the change in responses.
Thank-you notes that show gratitude. Writing a good thank-you note or saying thank you is not only important, but an expected form of professionalism and courtesy, at least among certain generations and cultures. While everyone may not have received education on this, your thank-you skills prove your professionalism. Saying thank you shows your appreciation for someone’s time or effort. It also shows gratitude and respect. Those who go out of the way to show appreciation are more likely remembered or stand apart from the people who overlook this small detail. Saying thank you isn’t the only way to show professionalism, but it is a quick fix and easy to implement immediately.
Do what you say you’ll do. Have you ever committed to do something and then it slips your mind? It happens, but could it damage your professional reputation? It depends on the situation. And what if it happens too often? Think about the personal and professional colleagues you rely on most. You know you can count on these friends to help out in a bind. Dependability is a way to demonstrate professionalism. The actions and behaviors of someone dependable are not difficult to identify. Dependability means you follow through by doing what you say you’re going to do. This quality will help differentiate you from the masses. Being a person of your word is a valuable reputation to establish.
RSVP what? An RSVP is a request to respond. When you see this on an invitation, it means the person or organization hosting the event would like an accurate head count and your response allows them to confirm the appropriate details for the event. If you can’t make the event, decline formally. But if you’re uncertain if you’ll be available to attend, what do you do? Do you hold a spot or let it go to someone who absolutely can attend? And what if something comes up at the last minute and you are unable to attend? If we asked a room of people for responses, there would be multiple answers. Regardless of what answer you choose, the more relevant question to ask is, how will your response or lack thereof impact your reputation?
Thursday, November 21, 2013
It turns out powerful people really do think differently. New research shows that people in positions of high power and others in positions of low power take very different courses of action when presented with the same scenario.
Researchers found this out through a series of experiments that examined how people would respond to a hypothetical offer of $120 now or the ability to wait and gain more money in one year. Overall, most people will forgo the larger reward and simply take the $120 when it is offered, in what the researchers call temporal discounting.
However, after study participants were split into groups where they were randomly assigned different levels of power, new trends emerged. It was found that participants who were assigned to a low-power role such as a member of a team were willing to take the reward only if it was $88 higher than the immediate offer ($120) on the table. On the other hand, participants in a high-power role such as a manager were more likely to take an offer if it was $52 higher than the immediate offer.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
It’s the carrot, not the stick that keeps employees motivated in the workplace, new research shows.
A study by online career site Glassdoor revealed that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, compared to less than 40 percent who are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or because they fear losing their job.
Showing gratitude also helps keep workers from developing a wandering eye. More than half of those surveyed said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss.
While more money is the type of recognition employees would prefer most, employers can also keep their staff happy with a number of less-costly methods. The study found that 46 percent of employees would feel more appreciated if their boss gave them an unexpected treat, like snacks, lunches, dinners or thank you notes, while 24 percent would enjoy a company-sponsored social event, such as a holiday party or happy hour.
“There is a wide variety of ways to show employee appreciation that can go far towards keeping employees satisfied, engaged and retained,” said Allyson Willoughby, Glassdoor’s senior vice president of people and general counsel. “Even inexpensive forms of appreciation, like thank you cards and treats, or offering flexibility like telecommuting, show employees you value them.”
Other forms of no-cost appreciation that employees want from employers include:
Being involved in decision making processes
Recognition at a team meeting or in a company newsletter
Thursday, November 21, 2013
In 1999, I was stocking frozen food at a San Francisco Health Food Store and chatting with my friend Dan Moore, a painter and bicycle messenger (and now square dance enthusiast!). I was bemoaning my lack of success with writing and dance. There in the freezer aisle, in our padded gloves and box knives he gave me a little lecture.
“If you want to be good at something, you have to to be obsessive. You have to do the thing all the time, and when you’re not doing it, you have to be thinking about doing it. Why do you think business people who make millions are so good at it? They’re always doing business. Even when they’re not working, they’re thinking about better ways to do business. Same with the greatest writers and painters. They obsess all the time. Ruby, if you want to be good at writing, you need to be obsessive about it.”
In 2005, I picked up a copy of “The Best American Science and Nature Writing” and read an article about James Dewey Watson*, (you know, the Watson of Watson and Crick, the one who discovered the structure of DNA?) that harked back to Dan’s words and cemented what he said.
To paraphrase a little, Watson, at the ripe old age of 74 (this is in 2004) gives a couple of speeches a month, usually for the sum off $25,000. Sharing a lecture agent with Bill Clinton means he can be as preferential as he wants in his engagements. What I love the most is the unapologetic and balls-out title of his speech:
“Why I Deserved to Discover the Structure of DNA”
He gives five reasons, or criteria, which I think could be anyone’s criteria for greatness:
Go for broke- If you are going to do important science, do it.
Have a way to get the answer – If you haven’t a clue, you’re going to waste time.
Be obsessive – He not only knew DNA was important, but it was all he could think about night and day. “Did you see Jeff Goldblum play me in the BBC film? Crick didn’t get cast right; he didn’t come across in any way as obsessive, whereas I did. It was DNA or nothing for me.”
Be part of a team – Working with Crick, he had a partner to bounce ideas off and a pal to support him.
Talk to your opponents – A lot of scientists are afraid to share their ideas. But by cooperating with Maurice Wilkins, a scientist at a rival lab in London, Watson and Crick learned of experimental evidence that enabled them to clinch their discovery. The person who actually took the pioneering photograph, Rosalind Franklin, never shared her research, and died before the 1062 Nobel Prize was awarded to the three men. “Generally it pays to talk,” says Watson. Oh… and, another rule:
Never be the brightest person on the room; then you can’t learn anything.
Let that sink in for a minute…
Did you get all that? If not, go back and read it again and then go do something great.
Seriously. No truer words were spoken.
But as I re-read Watson’s advice, I think about my goals and obsessions. As of late, particularly in our current political/ecological/financial/intellectual climate, I wonder if the thing that has gripped me the most consistently for the last seven years (Blues and Swing Dance) is really the most important thing to focus my time and energy on. It’s certainly the thing that I obsess about the most.
Read Full Article
Thursday, November 21, 2013
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” - Meister Eckhart
It’s amazing how one simple, easy, positive action can change so much in a person’s life.
One of the things that has had the biggest effect on my life is the realization of the power of gratitude. Simply giving thanks.
It has affected everything. It has made me a more positive person. A more productive person. A better achiever. A better husband and father and son and brother (at least, I like to think so). A happier person. I’m not perfect, but gratitude has made me better.
Can it change your life as well? I can guarantee it. You might not get the exact same benefits as I have, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the simple act of gratitude on a regular basis will change anyone’s life, positively and immediately. How many other changes can claim to be that quick, that easy, and that profound?
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate gratitude into your life, and how it will change your life. These are just some examples, based on my experience and the experiences of others I’ve talked with, and not all will apply to your life. But pick and choose the ones you think will work for you.
1. Have a morning gratitude session. Take one minute in the morning (make it a daily ritual) to think of the people who have done something nice for you, to think of all the things in your life you’re grateful for. You won’t get to everything in one minute, but it’s enough. And it will instantly make your day better, and help you start your day off right. Can you think of a better use of one minute?
2. When you’re having a hard day … make a gratitude list. We all have those bad days sometimes. We are stressed out from work. We get yelled at by someone. We lose a loved one. We hurt a loved one. We lose a contract or do poorly on a project. One of the things that can make a bad day much better is making a list of all the things you’re thankful for. There are always things to be thankful for — loved ones, health, having a job, having a roof over your head and clothes on your back, life itself.
3. Instead of getting mad at someone, show gratitude. That’s a major switching of attitudes — actually a complete flip. And so this isn’t always easy to do. But I can promise you that it’s a great thing to do. If you get mad at your co-worker, for example, because of something he or she did … bite your tongue and don’t react in anger. Instead, take some deep breaths, calm down, and try to think of reasons you’re grateful for that person. Has that person done anything nice for you? Has that person ever done a good job? Find something, anything, even if it’s difficult. Focus on those things that make you grateful. It will slowly change your mood. And if you get in a good enough mood, show your gratitude to that person. It will improve your mood, your relationship, and help make things better. After showing gratitude, you can ask for a favor — can he please refrain from shredding your important documents in the future? And in the context of your gratitude, such a favor isn’t such a hard thing for the co-worker to grant.
4. Instead of criticising your significant other, show gratitude. This is basically the same as the above tactic, but I wanted to point out how gratitude can transform a marriage or relationship. If you constantly criticize your spouse, your marriage will slowly deteriorate — I promise you. It’s important to be able to talk out problems, but no one likes to be criticized all the time. Instead, when you find yourself feeling the urge to criticize, stop and take a deep breath. Calm down, and think about all the reasons you’re grateful for your spouse. Then share that gratitude, as soon as possible. Your relationship will become stronger. Your spouse will learn from your example — especially if you do this all the time. Your love will grow, and all will be right in the world.
5. Instead of complaining about your kids, be grateful for them. Many parents (myself included) get frustrated with their children. They are too slow to do things, they have a bad attitude, they can’t clean up after themselves, and they pick their nose too much. Unfortunately, sometimes parents will communicate that frustration to their children too often, and the kids will begin to feel bad about themselves. Many parents have done this, and while it’s not perfect, it’s a part of parenthood. But there’s a better way: follow the method above of calming down when you’re frustrated, and thinking of reasons you’re grateful to your child. Share these reasons with your child. And then take the opportunity to teach them, instead of criticizing them.
6. When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it. Many people will see something difficult as a bad thing. If something goes wrong, it’s a reason to complain, it’s a time of self-pity. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, learn to be grateful for the challenge — it’s an opportunity to grow, to learn, to get better at something. This will transform you from a complainer into a positive person who only continues to improve. People will like you better and you’ll improve your career. Not too shabby.
7. When you suffer a tragedy, be grateful for the life you still have. I’ve recently lost an aunt, and my children recently lost a grandmother. These tragedies can be crippling if you let them overcome you. And while I’m not saying you shouldn’t grieve — of course you should — you can also take away something even greater from these tragedies: gratitude for the life you still have. Appreciation for the fleeting beauty of life itself. Love for the people who are still in your life. Take this opportunity to show appreciation to these people, and to enjoy life while you can.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Many newly minted college graduates who will be collecting their diplomas during the next few weeks are in a panic to find jobs. After making a six-figure investment in higher education, these 22-year-olds, along with their overprotective baby boomer parents, are awakening to the harshness of a downsized, competitive marketplace.
Some schools are finding new and innovative ways to help them, and they’re not waiting until the countdown to graduation. They perceive — correctly — that the time to start thinking about the job search is early in one’s college experience. In fact, many schools are working with underclassmen to get them focused on the additional talents required for surviving life after college. MIT has a “Charm School” for sophomore aspiring engineers to help them develop effective communications skills to foster success in interviewing and adjusting to corporate life.
The University of Richmond takes the MIT “Charm School” program a couple of steps further. Its Q-Camp program transports sophomore business students off campus for a weekend of etiquette training along with seminars and programs on internships and job seeking. In January, about 140 students attended along with 30 faculty members and representatives from 40 regional and national corporations. The head of the program, Shelley Burns, continues to follow and coach these students throughout their remaining undergraduate years.
Burns is a new kind of educator emerging on college campuses who see their role as bridging the gap between the classroom and the corporate world. You cannot expect a PhD lecturing in a classroom setting to teach the soft skills required for a job search.
Going forward, we can expect to see more educators like her. Meanwhile, here is a year-by-year guide for students to follow (and for parents to reinforce).
Freshman year. Adjust to college. Sometime during the second semester, go by the placement office, introduce yourself and learn what they offer. Freshman summer is meant for relaxing and having fun.
Sophomore year. It’s time to get serious about career interests. During the fall semester, find a program that teaches about internships and the job seeking process. The placement office will be a good guide. They will tell you what your school offers or refer you to other sources. At the beginning of the spring semester (that means January), create a resumé and start looking for a summer internship in an area that you think you’re interested in. Get your parents to help you with their friends or associates who are in your field of interest; check out web sites and send resumés; and get used to the process of applying, interviewing and getting rejected. Keep the faith: You’ll find something.
Junior year. If you plan on spending your first semester abroad, give some thought to a summer internship plan before you leave in August. Your junior summer internship is a critical one. As you hopefully learned as a sophomore, the time to start looking is in January. Be aggressive. Talk to career services, talk to experts in the field, go online and apply to as many companies as you can, and sign up for interviews on campus. Unleash every effort at the beginning of the semester so you are cruising with an internship offer by spring break.
Senior year. Your assignment is to start thinking about employment on day one. Sign up for every interview you can at career placement. Even if you’re not that interested, you need the experience of interviewing. It is a learned skill, and the only way to get good at it is through practice.
Talk to everyone you can about the job search. That includes the career center staff; professors; professional contacts your family members might know; and recruiters.
For companies that recruit on campus, you may have an offer by Christmas. If you have a major that’s not accounting or finance, then your job search will continue through the spring semester. Use spring break as an opportunity to visit a city or companies in which you have a particular interest. If you don’t have a job by graduation, don’t panic. Go to beach week. But if you followed this process, you are well along the path and you will find something soon by being diligent.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Have you noticed? There has been a lot of buzz about introverts lately, and the more we learn about introverts, the more we understand the power of introverts to lead and influence others. There is no doubt that the workplace tends to be biased toward those who are more charismatic and outgoing. However, introverts can also be highly effective influencers when they lean back and use their natural strengths.
Jennifer Kahnweiler, is an expert on the subject of introverts. Her book, Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, helps us to understand the qualities that introverts possess, and how they can leverage these strengths to be successful.
Bonnie Marcus: What’s the difference between being shy and being introverted?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Shy is typically associated with more psychological or social anxiety. So one can be shy and introverted, but they don’t necessarily go together. Introversion is really how you’re hardwired – it’s not good, it’s not bad, there’s no judgment there. It’s just a temperament. And so, people oftentimes mix them up. The main differentiator I share with people is based on what Carl Jung said many years ago, it’s where you get your energy. If you’re somebody who’s more in your head, if you’re really energized by what’s going on inside yourself than you are on the outside world, then you typically tend to be more introverted. An extrovert gets charged up and gets energized by other people, by being out, by stimuli outside of themselves. And it’s not either/or. You can have both.
Marcus: What are the natural strengths introverts have that allow them to lean back and influence others?
Kahnweiler: Influencers make a difference by challenging the status quo and by provoking new ways of thinking, effecting change, and inspiring others to move forward. Quiet Influencers begin their influencing journey where they think and recharge best: in quiet. Quiet Time provides energy, increases self awareness, and spurs creativity.
Next comes Preparation. Through creating a strategy and asking questions, they become more comfortable and confident in their efforts to influence others. They may tap into their innate strength in Engaged Listening to build rapport and mutual understanding. Or they may choose Focused Conversations which are purposed driven dialogues in which they problem solve and work through conflicts with others. They may use their natural strength of Writing where they articulate authentic, well developed positions to make a difference with others. Finally, Quiet Influencers consider how Thoughtful Social Media Platforms can advance their cause.
Marcus: Introverts are more apt to lean back and stimulate and inspire others. They hold back and let others take the stage. Does this make them better leaders?
Kahnweiler: There has been quite a bit of very exciting research that was done by Adam Grant and Francesca Gino – both at Wharton and at Harvard – where they came out with a theory, or they proved a theory, pretty much, through a very large design, that introverted leaders really make the best leaders for what they were saying were more, outgoing or extroverted, employees or team members. And it was simply because they were “leaning back”.
Have you ever been to a meeting where people are talking very vociferously about a topic, and there are a lot of individuals engaged. But then, there’s that one person, at the end of the conference table who chimes in, and just nails it. There’s been all this chatter – as one of the introverted leaders told me, he said, it’s like having all these cackling geese. And he says, he seems himself as the great blue heron that swoops in with the compilation, with the concise statement that really sums it all up.
Marcus: Women introverts have extra challenges especially if they work in male dominated organizations or industries. They get cited on performance reviews for not speaking up and are told to “lean in” more if they want to get noticed. What are some tips for these introverted women who often remain invisible?