How Introverts Can Shine In The Remote Workplace

By William Arruda|15-04-2022 | 1 Min Read
Source: Vestor image is from freepik.com
How Introverts Can Maximise the Hybrid World of Work

The great escape to home offices that instantly happened in March 2020 created a more comfortable environment for introverts. According to data collected by The Myers-Briggs Company, Introverted types were more likely to enjoy working from home, to appreciate the peace and quiet, and to agree that working from home had given them the space and time to reflect. But working from home can also limit their options for demonstrating the tremendous value they deliver.

For anyone who feels drained by non-stop face-to-face interactions, it was cause for celebration when the daily commute changed from the highway (or the subway) to the hallway. But this new paradigm, which is likely here to stay in some form, presents the risk of invisibility for introverts, who, according to Psychology Today, make up anywhere from 16 to 50 percent of the population.

In online meetings, it’s now easier than ever before to fade into the background. And this presents a problem. Out of sight really can mean out of mind. But if you are intentional about it, online meetings can become your golden opportunity to be visible and demonstrate the value you deliver to your organization, even if your comfort level online is iffy.

If you lean toward “I” on the introvert/extrovert scale, here’s how you can maximize the hybrid world of work.

Deliver a Powerful First Impression

That fact that first impressions have gone digital is music to the ears of introverts. You can use the bits-and-bytes version of yourself to tell the world who you are—even when your computer is off. With fewer in-person introductions, co-workers and other stakeholders are more likely to go online to learn about team members. To make the most of this, focus on the two most important elements of your online professional identity.

  1. Page one of Google results. Most searchers never go beyond page one in a search, so make sure your front-page results convey your authentic and compelling brand. Post a video or two on YouTube along with some images of you that reflect your brand traits. Name those photo and video files with your name so you can take advantage of universal search—the Google system for displaying multimedia content alongside text-based information.
  2. Your LinkedIn profile. When people want to check you out professionally, they’ll often start at LinkedIn—and even if they don’t, that’s where they’ll end up. That’s because your LinkedIn profile will be one of the top results they’ll see in Google results. Focus on having a compelling headshot (face forward, smile, and don’t forget to crop the photo so your face is about 60-80% of the image). Brand your LinkedIn background image so that it reflects you and stands out from the myriad others. And focus most of your attention on your LinkedIn About section. It’s the place where you tell your story, and it will be the most-read version of your bio.

Make Meetings Matter

Create a comfortable environment. You have a lot more control about what surrounds you when you’re working remotely, so fill your space with things that make you feel comfortable and joyful.

Let your background speak for you. What’s behind you in a virtual meeting sends a message about who you are. Make that message descriptive of the brand called YOU. If you’re creative, showcase that. If you’re organized, make sure your background conveys that.

Practice your VEP: virtual elevator pitch. When you need to introduce yourself to meeting participants, you’ll be much more relaxed if you’ve practiced delivering your elevator pitch while looking at your laptop’s camera. Like most things that are stressful, the more you do it, the less anxiety you’ll feel.

Read more: How to Think on Camera

Show up early. Your first impulse might be to do the opposite, because you assume those pre-meeting minutes will be awkward or depleting. But the opposite is true. Logging in early gives you a chance to interact less formally with folks and with a smaller group than the entire meeting roster. Have some go-to questions that you can use to start conversations. Questions like: What’s the story behind that great painting hanging on your wall? Or How long have you been a member of this team? Then, put your natural curiosity to work so you can keep the conversation going.

Give yourself a job. When it comes to meetings, the tendency for many introverts is to contribute when required and take a less active role once the minimum information delivery has been checked off the list. This will work against you in online meetings. To make sure you’re seen and heard, you can ask the meeting organizer to give you a job or just take it upon yourself to take on a valuable role. For example, you can be the one to monitor the chat and the hand-raising, or the “acknowledger,” expressing praise and gratitude for participants’ contributions, or the “notetaker,” making sure that the important points are documented for everyone.

Shine when you engage. When you do make your contribution, make it count by being prepared. If you’re presenting slides, make them compelling. That means go for pictures and videos over words, and when you must use words, make sure you’re using a font of 36 pt. or greater so participants can actually read them. And to make it even more magnetic, start your presentation with something interesting or unexpected. That will make them sit up and focus. The slides are not your teleprompter.

If you’re an introvert, you can appreciate all the benefits of a mostly remote and distributed workforce. Just remember that you still need to be visible and make an impression on the people you seek to impact. So get your digital brand in order and be extra engaged. Remote work can actually make it less stressful to be visible and influential.

This article was originally published on forbes.com. For more information on Personal Branding , please visit williamarruda.com

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William Arruda is the bestselling author of the definitive books on personal branding: Digital YOU, Career Distinction and Ditch. Dare. Do! And he’s the creative energy behind Reach Personal Branding and CareerBlast.TV – two groundbreaking organizations committed to expanding the visibility, availability, and value of personal branding across the globe. For more information on Personal Branding , please visit williamarruda.com. 

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