I’m sitting in the back of the crowded room, near the wall, and it seems like this staff meeting is never going to end.
All the extroverts – the room is full of them – are jumping over each other to debate the finer points of a new policy we’re putting into effect. There are so many differing opinions and rapid changes of topic that I’m not even sure what the central problem is anymore. The conversation is moving so quickly that I couldn’t get a word in if I wanted to.
Suddenly all the talking stops. A decision has been made. I’m still thinking about a point someone made ten minutes ago.
As an introvert working on a team of (mostly) extroverts, this has happened to me more times than I can count.
What’s an introvert to do? Shrink back into the wall and let everyone else make the decisions? Get passed over for raises and promotions because you’re not as visible as your extroverted colleagues?
While we’re never going to keep pace with extroverts in their ability to talk eloquently on the fly or possess (seemingly) endless amounts of energy, we can succeed on extroverted teams, and keep ourselves sane.