As we near the end of 2020 during COVID-19, some companies have moved all of their positions to remote, whether permanently, temporarily, or until further notice. We are all reacting differently to these changes, and it feels like we are adjusting our headspaces each week.
In terms of work personality, extroverts have been battling with the stir-crazy emotions and lack of face-to-face engagement. On the other hand, you might think the introverts are enjoying this! However, the challenges are still plenty, and sometimes the remote environment blurs the lines between the personal and professional space, which is a no-no. Of course, ambiverts fall directly in the middle of these two work styles, so perhaps the scenarios alternate depending on the day.
As an introvert myself, I’d like to speak on the general experience of our professional batteries running out, if you will. How can introverts cultivate their work style in a healthy way, making the regular switch from home-refuge mentality to workplace alertness?
Introverts have several qualities that can add value to client relations and communications. In this blog, we won’t go into the different types of introverts--more so, what makes them shine? Here are four healthy habits to take those abilities to the next level.
1. Practice in the Zoom Preview
We all have to get on Zoom for a meeting, a one-on-one discussion, or to record a quick Loom to explain things more in detail. If you’re an anxious introvert like me, you’ll need to set at least 5 to 10 minutes before the call to get your environment in order and think about what you’re going to say. Remember that trip to the break room or bathroom before entering the conference room? This is that part in our new all-virtual-all-the-time world.
Open up the Settings on Zoom, go to Video, and take a look at the preview window to see how you’re feeling today. You might want to practice full sentences, or maybe your shoulders are looking a little tense, and you need to do some stretches.
After the call, ask a friend or significant other from the other room (you know they overheard everything!) to give you feedback on how you came across to the client. Maybe you can confide in a coworker to share this vulnerability and get some moral support.
2. Follow Your Agenda
There is nothing more secure than having your notes in front of you. Whether you’re presenting to the entire team, a client, or your manager, let the agenda guide you to success! Introverts can be deep and critical thinkers, so getting all of those thoughts in order to lead the call will be your best bet.
Not only will the list of bullet points direct the way of the meeting, but you can use it to get everyone back on track when a team member gets off topic. It is a win for everyone!
3. Speak at Your Pace
When the adrenaline is pumping, I usually have the tendency to overshare in my energy. However, when the meeting is over, I am exhausted! Before it’s your turn to speak or begin the session, remember to be true to yourself, and go at your own pace. This is not to say you should cause the call to run over by 15 minutes, but just be aware that you’re in the driver seat, and you have the power to lead the conversation.
Do you need to speak slowly? Do you need to make the necessary pauses between sentences? Are you distracted by other team members who interrupt your train of thought, so you need to repeat yourself? Whatever technique you need to use, own it!
Going back to the vulnerability check, talk to your manager or director about introversion awareness. Perhaps your team members could take a self-assessment to see who are the introverts, extroverts, the direct communicators, the careful listeners, etc. At Trusty Oak, we love using Cloverleaf, where we have discovered our behaviors on the Enneagram assessment.
4. Schedule Recovery Time
Once you’re done with the meeting, it’s time for that “trip to the break room” again for some much-needed recovery time. Hopefully, you can schedule this after the call, but if you have to wait until later in the day, make it a good rest! I usually have to write up my notes or a follow-up email afterward, so I like to make sure it’s not a rushed situation and that the bullet points are clear and easy to digest. Usually I can accomplish this after some well-intentioned decompression.
Introverts offer so much value to the team and clientele by being great listeners, detailed project managers, creative writers, analyzers, and the list goes on. We don’t know when COVID-19 will finally make its exit, but during this time and after the pandemic, introverts can elevate their work-from-home qualities through practice, preparation, and staying true to their own rhythm.