Why You Don’t Need to Be an Extrovert to Be an Effective Communicator

Have you ever watched Scandal? It’s an amazing TV series centered around the White House communication director, Olivia Pope. She is bold, witty, straightforward and very effective on the job. But in her private life, she enjoys a glass of red wine, popcorn and some alone time at home. You can count her friends on one hand, but they would die for her and she would do the same. In other words, she is an introvert. 

Since starting my career in communication I have always found but never really internalised the many prejudices surrounding the image of a communication person. I was told more than once things like: “you work in communication, you are definitely outgoing!” But that was not the case. And is still isn’t. I enjoy quiet, reflective moments without which I wouldn’t be able to come up with the (amazing) ideas I then share with my clients.

But it took a while to accept this and to be able to communicate it to people around me. I am an introvert but I am also very good at my job. The two things do not exclude each other. If you are a little bit like me I bet your interviews haven’t always gone the way you planned and possibly you left the room feeling disappointed with your performance. 

Well, you don’t have to be! You can still be yourself and show your skills. In fact, it is very important you do so. There has been much discussion about the effectiveness of introverts in a workplace, especially since books like Quiet came out. And one thing research agrees on is that introverts tackle problems that are not often seen by extroverts. We are also more prone to reflection and listening which is fundamental in communication. 

This is just some food for thoughts but is a point I constantly stress during my workshops and 1-2-1 sessions. 

You’ll read more about it in the coming posts but if you feel like sharing your experience please do comment or send me a message to comms@kabutakapua.com I’d love to publish your experience here. 

#diversityisstrength