Are there moments when you have felt overlooked or undervalued at work? Introvert workplace discrimination happens subtly and can take a toll on the introvert involved.
It’s sad that an introvert could get much work done and still be regarded as dull or lacking active participatory skills, for not being able to give swift responses about their work at meetings.
If workplace cultures can be adapted to involve introverts in a way that harness their strengths, it would really be great.
Companies like Amazon already have a structure in place that harness the quiet power of introverts at their workplace.
Are you an introvert struggling at work?
If you are experiencing or have experienced introvert workplace discrimination, know that you are not alone.
Here are some complains expressed on a forum on Indeed, from introverts experiencing same:
“I’m going through this as well. I wouldn’t call it ‘discrimination’ but I will call it favoritism, unfairness, and bias as far as when people get promoted based on their socializing abilities rather than their work skills”– Kevin.
“I have watched the same 6 people get employee of the month, all the time; because they are visible to managers. I work harder than most people yet managers think there’s something wrong with me because I’m not a social butterfly” – Anonymous.
This unconscious bias against introversion in our society is startling.
Ways to stand out regardless of Introvert workplace discrimination
Here are ways that introverts working in Nigeria can stand out at work:
Choose the right role for you
Discuss the possibilities of adjusting your current role to be a better fit for you, with your manager. If you are job-hunting, before you apply for a job, check that the job responsibilities align with your strength and capabilities.
Ask for a private meeting with your managers
If you get uneasy about sharing your ideas, views, and suggestions during group meetings, you can do what you do best—listen attentively and take notes while the meeting is on. No pressure!
After the group meeting, set up a one-on-one meeting with your line manager or supervisor where you can pour out all the ideas you have and comfortably express yourself.
Alternatively, before the group meeting, you can make your contributions to the purpose of the group meetings in writing—Send an email. This gives you time to put together a well-thought-out content.
Step out of your comfort zone
From time to time, you can make extra effort to know your colleagues. Arm yourself with some conversation starters that will help make the small talk conversations a little free-flowing.
In a way, building individual relationships can help improve your people skills and create a positive high-functioning workplace for you.
At work, there are certain duties like representing your company at meetings or presenting your ideas to stakeholders, that you cannot entirely stay out of too. This is especially if it is your goal to excel in your career.
Doing what makes you cringe can be a bit scary at first, but with constant and deliberate practice you will get used to it, and even get better.
As an introvert, do what you can to make a difference in the workplace and be obviously relevant because sometimes, the system is not just aware of your capabilities.
Kathy Caprino, an executive coach, said in her article on Forbes, “In my 18 years of corporate life as a manager, director, and vice president, I see now that…I didn’t recognize introversion for what it truly is, and I had a negative bias against it”.
Introvert workplace discrimination is a topic that needs to be constantly addressed for as long as it will take for substantial awareness to be created around it.
Like to share any experience you may have with introvert workplace bias? Please do so in the comment session
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