Why COVID-19 has been good for introverts

Opinion: Virtual meetings have drawbacks, but they can be used to give less vocal employees the chance to shine.

by Shola Kaye

Speak up! Be bolder! Think faster! As an introvert in the workplace, these are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind during meetings. Research shows introverts often express their ideas more hesitantly, tend to wait for others to finish rather than interrupt, and need a little more thinking time before speaking up. 

So introverts generally give themselves a hard time and see themselves as less effective than extroverts when it comes to brainstorming sessions, panel discussions, group meetings and any situation where impromptu speaking skills are advantageous. However, working from home and teleconferencing has proved, I believe, a surprising help for introverts, levelling the playing field a little. 

I frequently work with clients from the fields of tech, data and professional services and, as a communication specialist, I see that this switch to Zoom/Teams meetings and teleconferencing is actually an opportunity that’s giving quieter folk the chance to shine. In particular, the use of chatboxes to elicit responses from participants has been particularly liberating. 

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