Quiet Leadership - Follow Up Q&A

Quiet Leadership - Follow Up Q&A

Recently, Quiet Confidence Coach, Faris Khalifeh joined us to lead a webinar on the topic of Quiet Leadership. There were several questions posed by attendees and while we could not respond to all of them, you will find the remainder of them answered by Faris below.

Do you find extroverts to be less empathetic and have a higher rate of selfish behaviour?

No, I don’t. Introversion/extroversion is mainly about where we gain and lose energy. We introverts, tend to recharge by spending time alone. We lose energy from being around in stimulating environments (including being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds). Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from stimulating environments and other people.

Having said that, being less empathetic or exhibiting higher rates of selfish behaviour has nothing to do with being an introvert or extrovert. However, I can imagine if a person does not know the difference between the two and how each is wired differently.

For example, introverts may mistake an extrovert that is processing information out loud as dominating the conversation or being selfish. But in reality, most likely they are not. They are simply processing the information out loud with no intention of dominating the conversation or taking airtime. Same as some might mistake an introvert as shy or antisocial for staying quiet when they are internally overstimulated or drained.

Do you see differing trends in perceptions of introverts in different cultural frameworks or within different industries?

Yes, I do. Some cultures are quieter and introverted than others. There are few studies online that break introversion/extroversion percentage per country. Also, the same is true regarding different industries. I find that this is an interesting topic to learn more about!

What is a shy extrovert?

As mentioned in my presentation, introversion and shyness are different. Introversion/extroversion is mainly about where we gain or lose energy. While shyness mainly comes from fear. Introvert/extrovert and shyness are a continuum and it depends where you are on that spectrum.

Could you give some sample phrases for politely interrupting an extrovert?

    • May I add something here …
    • Can we pause for a second? I’d like to…
    • Can I add a point of clarification?
    • We’re moving quickly through this topic and there’s a lot here, Do you mind if …
    • Excuse me, may I jump in here?
    • May I add something here?
    • I couldn’t help overhearing…
    • Sorry to interrupt but may I...
    • Can I interrupt for a moment?
    • While we're on that topic…
    • You can reflect and come up with your own lines ahead of time and use them when you need to.

How do you avoid overthinking as an introvert?

Wow! That’s a deep topic. There are many layers to that and I won’t be able to cover it here. I’ll share a few tips here. Overthinking has nothing to do with being an introvert or extrovert.

The first step is self-awareness. Notice when you start overthinking. Then, depending on the context, there are different tools and strategies: breathing, meditation, reframing, journaling, breaking down the emotions you’re experiencing, and trying to identify what you’re telling yourself about the situation.

I find Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a great modality to look into. You can read more about it here.

How do you respond to workplace expectations that are biased toward extroverts? Examples include "recreational" team-building games, open office structures, etc.

I suggest having an open conversation with your team/manager about what it means to be an introvert and how it’s mainly about where you gain and lose energy and clarify the common myths. Also, share the key strengths and maybe highlight of all the stuff I shared in the presentation and then ask for your needs and what will make you a more productive person.

As an introvert, how do you maintain having enough battery for your spouse/partner/personal life when you work in a highly stressful environment that takes a lot out of you?

The same can be applied to spouse/friends. I personally find the best strategy is having that open conversation and expressing your needs.