Not All Introverts are Great Listeners All the Time

Introverts are often stereotyped as quiet, reserved individuals who are excellent listeners. While this may be true for some introverts some of the time, not all introverts are great listeners.

I am indeed an introvert and can come across as a good listener, as I may not say a lot or be economical with my words when I do. But I have had to work on improving my listening, because while I may look like I’m listening, I may:

  • be thinking about what to say next
  • be finding solutions to the problems that others are sharing
  • be worried about how I’m going to say what I’m about to say
  • be anxious about what others might think of me or if I said something they disagree with
  • be lost in my own thoughts about whatever is being discussed or something else entirely!
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The long-lasting and wide-ranging impact of racism and microaggressions

Have you ever stopped to think about the long-lasting impact of racist comments and microaggressions? I recently had a coaching client who opened my eyes to the lasting impact of these types of incidents.

I hesitated to share this but when my coaching client gave me permission, I felt it was important to share. She hoped that it would help others to feel that they are not alone.

She shared with me three incidents that occurred 10 years ago, and still had a huge impact on her self-perception and confidence. Two of the incidents were a direct attack on her, criticising her English language accent or skills by a client and a colleague. Another was where she heard culturally diverse members of the team being told to “go back where they came from”.

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Quietly Powerful Leaders – who are they and why…

Since starting the Quietly Powerful movement just over 2 years ago I have had the pleasure of interviewing 24 Quietly Powerful leaders so far, to understand what makes them quietly powerful and how their natural tendencies have been their leadership strengths (join the Quietly Powerful LinkedIn Group to access the recorded interviews). A few patterns started emerging, which I have been sharing more of in my talks.

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Quietly Disadvantaged Talent

In conversations with quieter professionals, I hear examples of how they have felt disadvantaged in the workplace. It is surprisingly common place and yet often not seen as a problem. It is more often seen as the problem for the quieter professionals to fix and fit in. While I have the view that the individuals can develop to overcome some of the disadvantages, I also believe that organisations are wasting talent by not being aware of or addressing these disadvantages.

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Strong leadership ≠ dominance

Recently I heard two cases where leaders with track records were unsuccessful for roles they applied for, and they were unsuccessful because the hiring manager was looking for a ‘strong leader’.

One of them wrote to me and said:

“I think they were looking for that [a dominating style of leader] because it is their current workplace culture. They fight, they push each other around…”

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