You hate it to admit it, but you’re… well – shy.
That word makes your cringe – but it’s true. Working up the courage to speak when you’re in a meeting is a challenge. You’d rather not go to that company happy hour because it seems like you have NOTHING to say the minute someone comes up to talk to you. And you’re just not that person in the front of the room telling the engaging story at the start of company events.
Today, your day has been busy running in and out of meetings.
As you are on your way back to your desk, your direct report stops you saying, “hey, I have been meaning to talk with you about….”
As they are talking all you can think about is the next thing you hope to say.
This week, we’ve got one of our great Coaches, Karen Coplan, here to share some recommendations to do if someone is shy and finds it hard to respond to what the other person is saying.
First, know that you are not alone! You likely work with many shy or introverted people, but may not realize it because they have found ways to ‘flex’ their styles. Being shy doesn’t mean that you don’t have important or interesting ideas to share, but it may mean that it is more difficult for you to do so.
There are a few tips that may help you to feel more comfortable in talking with others.
Before a meeting or a networking situation, try to identify a few topics that you could bring up in conversation. For example, scan business periodicals or websites (eg, Wall Street Journal or Harvard Business Review) to identify a few interesting or thought provoking topics.
Come up with a brief summary of what you are currently working on – and practice talking about it – OUT LOUD.
Also, try to keep eye contact during the conversation, nod, and look interested. Many times people don’t need a response; they just want to know that they are being listened to!
Finally, I recommend that you watch the Ted Talk by Susan Cain called The Power of Introverts. It will likely help you to feel less alone in your shyness and to realize that you bring a lot of value!
So, try out one of these techniques or watch the Ted Talk Karen suggested and let us know what was impactful to you!