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  • Writer's pictureMarriot Winquist

How introverts buy time in a professional world

How do introverts buy time in a professional world...?

I'm an introvert, and many of my clients also see themselves as more introverted than others.

One of the most common difficulties for introverted professions is how to act and react IN THE MOMENT.

⛔️ when someone says something that catches you off-guard

⛔️ when someone asks you a question you didn't prepare for

⛔️ when a discussion suddenly changes direction away from your intention

⛔️ when someone talks over you

⛔️ when your boundaries are overstepped

It's not unusual to find ourselves frozen. We're paralyzed in determining the next thing to say, and often end up staying silent or mumbling something that we would regret and rethink and beat ourselves up for in the next several days.

It is really exhausting. And ineffective.

So, how do we transition from frozen to fluid IN THE MOMENT?

Here are 3 steps:

✳️ Acknowledge the NOW

Don't let the moment take you. Take ownership of the moment instead. If it helps, have a few neutral phrases ready to simply state the fact and acknowledge that moment. For example, "Oh, that is interesting." "Thanks for that, I haven't thought about it that way." "That was a lot of new information." "I was in a middle of a thought." "I didn't expect that." "Interesting, I'm not sure what to make of that yet."

Doing this also creates the much-needed pause that you need work through this moment.

👉 In a pinch, go with "Ok" or "Thanks".

✳️ State your NEED

Usually, introverts work better with more time to process new or large amounts of information. If you're not dealing with an emergency life-and-death situation that requires immediate reactions - and most of us aren't - then you have the luxury of giving yourself adequate time to be effective.

👉 "I'd like some time to think through this."

✳️ Close with ACTION

Don't leave without a commitment to follow up. Whether it is a same-day regroup, or a follow-up at the next status meeting, it's important to close the loop on the situation. Consider whether the issue is time-sensitive, and offer a specific time to follow up accordingly.

👉 "How about we discuss this at our stand-up tomorrow morning?"

Pulling it Together

In a few sentences, you can unlock from paralysis, and regain control of the situation, and effectively communicate IN THE MOMENT with calm and confidence:

"Oh, you mean we're totally re-thinking this initiative because of the new research that came out yesterday? That's interesting. Thanks for the addition information. I'd like some time to think through this so I can bring more ideas to the table. I know we need to turn around quickly on this - how about we touch base later this afternoon? Are you free 3-4pm?"

Make it genuine, make it true. And soon you would be owning and navigating these IN THE MOMENT situations with ease.

🎯 How about you? What are your go-to IN THE MOMENT strategies?


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