Business communication channels grow increasingly numerous and complex with each passing day. In a procurement consulting role, these communication channels are constantly flooded by colleagues, clients, and suppliers. A fresh-faced analyst with a crisp Baccalaureate will quickly learn how to best manage these tool. For most, this is one piece of a thrilling puzzle. For others, communication is a challenge -- something that drains that individual of energy, focus, and productivity. These individuals struggle to find a place to think clearly when communication seems to be in endless demand. This group is best known as introverts, or folks who gather energy from silent thinking time and expend energy in communicative interactions.

In a social, fast, and loud society, the skills of extroverts receive the greatest value. Speaking quickly, commanding attention, and fast action come before the more introverted skills of careful consideration and planning. To make matters worse, the slower approach to handling a given situation can appear negative to coworkers and management. However, there are various strategies to help introverts strengthen communication skills and compete with their extroverted counterparts while retaining the strengths of their natural skillset.

Strategies:


Socialize - Take advantage of work events, prompt small talk, and attend collaborative work environments. These scenarios make it much easier to meet people and recruit friendly faces for necessary help in a new role. Introverts should do their best to take coworkers up on the opportunities they present. This will allow a new employee to find commonalities and speak in a low risk setting.

Schedule - Prioritize and plan time to re-energize by building each day’s schedule to balance calls and internal analysis type work as much as possible. The analysis work will restore social energy lost during the calls and meetings.

Mindset - Embrace the strengths of introversion and work according. The introverted approach can better refine and optimize ideas and make for a more powerful and persuasive end product. Avoid frustration by concentrating on learning and acknowledging improvement.

Non-verbal – Rely on less socially draining, non-verbal communication. For example, introverts should practice maintaining an upright posture and focus on making eye contact during face-to-face communication. Smiling makes everyone appear more approachable, social, and upbeat. These habits show confidence and give a stronger impression. Non-verbal communication is a significant factor in how people are perceived.

Verbal - Speak up in an articulated manner with confident tone. Avoid second guessing questions asked and statements made as doing so will lead to hesitations and an increase in filler words. Be authentic and concise. Verbal communication is typically the greatest challenge for introverts. The confidence, authenticity, and conciseness will have to be forced at first. However, it will not take long for it to become more natural.

Overall, the challenges faced by introverts in a communication heavy position will decrease with each passing day. Every positive experience will build upon the previous with learning occurring from mistakes and failures. Soon, the strategies will be seamlessly integrated into the introverted procurement professional’s daily routine.
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Anthony Ott

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