Do you know that Emma Watson is an introvert?
Is it possible for an introvert to be a social influencer? Most definitely!
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a gregarious extrovert to be a social influencer. With the rise of digital and social media, the rules of influence have shifted in favour of introverts.
This is good news for the naturally introverted and reserved. Like the brilliant Harry Potter actress Emma Watson above.
Let me start by sharing what defines an introvert.
According to Kahnweiler, introverts are shaped by the following behaviours – see if you can identify with any of them:
Now that we have learned what makes introverts tick, let us look at their strengths in quiet influence.
From the book, we learned that there are six key strengths which introverts can use to create an impact.
Collectively, these traits help quiet influencers to stand out in all areas – from technology, engineering, science and finance, to traditionally “extroverted” professions like teaching, marketing, medicine, law, and human resources.
Courtesy of Jennifer Kahnweiler
What are these six strategies?
“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” – Blaise Pascal
Do you need to escape from the non-stop avalanche of emails, texts, calls and messages? I sure do!
Studies have shown that time alone can help to unleash creativity, boost energy, increase empathy and self-awareness, and sharpen focus.
Here are some ways to create that hassle-free space:
Remember though that at some point of time, you need to reconnect again with the world! Otherwise, you could be lost in your own “la la land”.
Preparation allows you to deepen your expertise, prove the value of your proposal, and work with others in a meaningful way.
It also improves your self-confidence and strengthens your ability to influence.
Four steps are outlined in the book:
Beware of over preparation and suffering from analysis paralysis though. At some point of time, you need to move into action.
Deep and engaged listening strengthens your understanding of situations. It also helps you to deepen empathy, gain credibility and build engagement.
To listen in an engaged fashion so that you can improve your influence, consider the following steps:
As with the earlier points, be careful not to be too carried away listening that you lose control of the conversation.
Quiet influencers can use focused conversations to support and encourage others, spark learning opportunities, solve problems or work through conflicts.
To trigger such conversations of consequence, consider the following actions:
Once again, an overuse of focused conversations can be negative. Too many deep conversations may compel you to reveal embarrassing private or personal information, foster group think, or confound problems further should new issues emerge.
Introverts are often great writers. The power of our pens are exhibited in their abilities to help us clarify our own stance, advocate our positions, connect with others and motivate others to action.
To write such that you can influence others, consider the following:
Like the above techniques, overuse of writing can result in negative outcomes. They include imprisoned ideas when you are too isolated in your writing, inefficient communications, and a loss of personal connection.
Beyond that, it is often better to handle sensitive issues face to face, rather than keyboard to keyboard.
Last but certainly not least, introverts can be social media influencers!
Through social media, introverts can help move people to action, deepen and grow relationships, be visible, teach and learn.
Once again, there are several ways to use social media for influence:
Once again, social media can be a good servant but a bad master. Beware of information overload, take note of audiences that could be unwittingly ignored, and keep away from being addicted to your devices.
As an introvert myself with extrovert tendencies, I find that I can easily connect with the author’s ideas and thoughts. Much of what she wrote resonated with the way I think, feel and act.
The advantage of quiet influence over noisy influence? Almost anybody can do it so long as he or she is willing to put in the hard work.
Being naturally deeper thinkers whose pens are sharper than their tongues, the introspective natures of introverts puts them at an advantage when building their social influence in a digital world. Following the principles above may just help us to create that impact.
What are your thoughts on quiet influence? Are you an introverted social influencer yourself?
PS – check out Jennifer’s blog for more useful tips on quiet influence.
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