• TOPICS
  • EVENTS

    Business Writing and Presentations
    Wed., Sep. 4-Dec. 11, 2019
    6:25-9 p.m. ET
    New York University
    (graduate course)

    Presentation Skills for Introverts®
    Thu., Mar. 26 & Apr. 2, 2020
    6-8:55 p.m. ET
    New York University
    (2-session workshop)

    PAST WEBINARS AVAILABLE ON DEMAND:

    How to "Talk the Talk" at Professional Events (free)
    Columbia University Alumni Career Services

    How to Think on Your Feet: Improv Skills for Business
    Co-facilitators: Nancy Ancowitz and Carl Kissin
    American Management Association

    How to Deliver Powerful Presentations as an Introvert
    American Management Association

    Essential Management Skills for Introverts
    American Management Association

    How to Project Confidence with Demanding People
    American Management Association

    Secrets of Successful Public Speaking
    American Management Association

    SAMPLING OF IN-HOUSE WORKSHOPS:

    Tango for Leaders
    For organizations

    Success Strategies for Introvert Leaders
    National Institutes of Health
    (Workshop for NIH employees only)

  • BOOK REVIEWS
    Publisher's Weekly
    "Best Books"
    The New York Times
    "Currently winning our race for most intriguing book title of 2009 is the oxymoronic “Self-Promotion for Introverts” by Nancy Ancowitz (McGraw Hill). The 'how to' book is filled with tips (rehearse is a favorite). The author’s tone is supportive and she does not argue that introverts should become live wires. But what else would you expect from a book whose subtitle is 'the quiet guide to getting ahead'?"
    The Wall Street Journal
    "…showing how quiet people can turn their innate strengths into an advantage when networking."
    ABC News
    "Best Book Gifts"
    Los Angeles Times
    "Whatever's behind your reluctance to speak out for yourself, this is the first book I've seen with serious research on the topic that leads to a new game plan."
    CIO Insight
    "Must-Read Fall Books for IT Execs"
    Star-Ledger
    "Best New Career Books"
    POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY NEWS DAILY
    "Offers a solid dose of practical advice—alongside humorous anecdotes.... Ancowitz shows introverts how to take advantage of the unique qualities and strengths they can offer."
    The Independent Consultant
    "There is great value in this book, whether you are promoting your own business or consulting practice, or just want to be sure your talents are recognized within your larger organization."
    Small Business Trends
    "Written by an introvert for introverts."
    Ft. Myers Florida Weekly
    "'Self-Promotion for Introverts' is a primer on doing just that—helping 'quiet sorts' assert themselves by using their inherent tendencies in the most effective ways."
    Women and Leadership Australia
    "Pitched perfectly. Our rating: 10/10."

Window into an Introvert’s World

Jenn Granneman is the author of the latest entrant into the burgeoning field of popular introvert literature. Her book, The Secret Lives of Introverts, is autobiographical, relatable, and filled with strategies to help introverts accept and even embrace their differences with the mainstream. I interviewed Granneman to learn more.

NA: With all the introvert books springing up, especially over the past half-dozen years, what got you to write The Secret Lives of Introverts? What’s different about your book?

JG: The Secret Lives of Introverts is the book I’ve been wanting to write since I founded IntrovertDear.com in 2013. It draws on interviews with hundreds of introverts and the latest research on introversion. The book is different because it’s more personal and relatable than other introvert books out there. It offers explanations of the science behind introversion in easy-to-understand, everyday language. It also addresses common problems almost all introverts face, such as getting burned out by socializing and feeling overlooked at work. Reading the book, introverts will say, “Hey, that’s me!”

NA: What have you learned about the science of introversion, including how introverts process stimuli differently from extroverts?

JG: Introverts are wired differently than extroverts. That explains why an introvert will want to go home after an hour or two of socializing, while an extrovert is more inclined to party all night. According to the experts I spoke with, introverts have a less active dopamine reward system than extroverts. This simply means that introverts care less than extroverts about certain rewards (you can find a more thorough explanation in my book). Introverts are just not as motivated and energized by, say, shaking hands with strangers or building huge social circles. In fact, the very things that energize extroverts can be downright draining for introverts.

A: How can introverts find their calling?

Used with permission, StockUnlimited

JG: It may not be easy for introverts to find their calling, but it should be done. Introverts tend to crave meaningful work, and they don’t feel fulfilled until their outer life represents their inner life, at least on some level. A “calling” for an introvert could mean many different things, from driving a truck solo to teaching a classroom of children to being self-employed. Introverts don’t necessarily have to choose a career that sequesters them in a private office all day long. In fact, many introverts told me that they feel very fulfilled working a job that allows them to interact meaningfully with others. Think consulting or counseling – fields in which the interactions are meaningful, as opposed to a call center, where the interactions are repetitive and often frustrating. The important thing is that introverts choose jobs that allow them some quiet time, preferably alone.

In my book, I provide six questions that introverts can ask themselves to help them find their calling. One questions is, “What message do you want to share with the world?” In other words, if you could rent a billboard in Times Square for just one day, what would you put on it? Another question is, “What kinds of tasks don’t feel like work to you?” Some tasks are a cakewalk to complete, and you get compliments on them; build your calling around these energizing tasks.

NA: What is the most surprising misconception you’ve discovered about introverts in the workplace?

JG: Introverts are – wrongly – undervalued as employees. Initially, bosses may favor extroverts for their confident, smooth-talking ways. However, as I explain in my book, research shows that the perceived value of extroverts’ work and their reputation actually decline over time. In other words, we expect a lot from extroverts, but they are not always able to deliver. Introverts, on the other hand, especially those who are conscientious and concerned about what others think of them, may make better employees in the long-run. I believe this is true because introverts tend to come to work, to, well, work, rather than chat and make friends. Introverts also want their work to speak for itself, so they tend to put a lot of time and effort into what they’re producing.

NA: What challenges have you had speaking up at meetings? What tips do you give other introverts to help them with that?

JG: I’ve had many jobs that required frequent attendance at meetings. Often, even when I was mentally poking holes in my colleagues’ plans, I wouldn’t speak up. Having all those eyes turned toward me, watching me speak, was overstimulating. Today, I still hate speaking up in groups or meetings, but I have learned a few tricks. First, instead of focusing on how you sound, focus on what you’re saying. It won’t matter if you “um” or “ah” or don’t use a chipper tone of voice if the content of your message is valuable. Also, push yourself to be one of the first people to speak up. Psychologically, this will make you feel more a part of the meeting, and people will tend to direct follow up questions to you.

Used with permission, StockUnlimited

NA: What survival skills do you recommend for introverts who work in overstimulating environments?

JG: Take breaks alone. Explain your introversion to your coworkers so they don’t misinterpret your behavior as antisocial or rude. And, if your job consistently leaves you so drained and exhausted that you have little energy left over for other things, consider formulating an escape plan.

NA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JG: The Secret Lives of Introverts is primarily for introverts, but I haven’t left out extroverts — I offer tips for them on how to live with, work with, and love the introverts in their lives.

Copyright 2017 © Nancy Ancowitz

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