Discrimination against Introverts? Nahhhhhh….


In a LinkedIn group that I belong to, the question was raised about whether there is discrimination against Introverts.

Well, many people would agree, Introverts and Extraverts alike, that the North American culture prizes Extraversion.  Charisma, magnetism, sociability, and gregariousness are preferred personality characteristics in our western culture.

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The future starts at an early age

The Confidence Gap book cover; author Russ Harris

I recently finished reading the book, The Confidence Gap, by Russ Harris, again.  Its advice needs to be shared with all women, girls and parents.

Rule 1: The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.

In 2013, we’re trying to figure out how to make a dent in the problem of the low numbers of women in corporate senior leadership positions. One theory of how to fix the problem is to increase the level of confidence in women, and especially in young girls.  The theory is that the more confidence we have, the more likely we are to compete, take necessary risks, and build skills and careers that are prone to advancement.

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Introverts! Rise Up!

Chilton and OLearyWhen I saw the interview of the two Dragon’s Den celebrities talking about Introverts in business, I was both thrilled and disappointed.

Thrilled because the discussion of personality preferences is really quite main stream these days.  Disappointed because the short clip eluded to Introverts needing Extraverts to sell their wares.

In light of David Chilton and Kevin O’Leary opening the door to strengths and weaknesses that each person brings to the table, remember that we can all be successful in any endeavour that we have enough passion for.  But we may not all do things the same way, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other.

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Caught between a rock and a hard place

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 7.37.43 PM

Women seem to be caught between a rock and hard place.  And that place is called the double-bind.

Unfortunately, we’re stuck in the middle between two beliefs.

One belief is that effective leadership traits are masculine in nature; think command-and-control.  The second belief is that feminine characteristics are not effective leadership traits; think collaborate-and-communicate.

The dilemma then becomes how a woman can be perceived as an effective leader, and still an effective woman.  Not that this should be a problem, but it is.  When we behave in line with expectations of a woman, we’re viewed as an ineffective leader.  When we behave in line with effective leadership traits, we’re judged harshly because it’s misaligned with expectations of a woman.

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Confessions of an Introvert

Photo credit: https://www.maniacworld.com

Photo credit: https://www.maniacworld.com

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd? Have you longed to have some quiet time to‘just think.’  Do people who talk non-stop cause your ears to ring and your head to spin?

If you can relate to these, then maybe you’re an Introvert, like me.

I didn’t always know I was an Introvert.  I used to just think I was shy and confused, and yes, even dumb.

But when I discovered the world of Myers-Briggs, and what it REALLY meant to be Introverted, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could really begin to enjoy being me.

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