Noise is optional. Quiet is essential…
Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis

That’s my view, anyway.

Let’s get something clear. ‘Introversion’ is not shyness, social ineptitude, timidity or slow-mindedness. Nor is it stand-offishness. Being naturally quiet doesn’t mean you are incapable of leadership, nor that you will just blend passively into the background and do as you’re told.

Up to half of the population tends towards introversion. Up to half. Neither quietness nor extroversion is abnormal. In Western cultures, being extrovert is considered more desirable, and quiet folk are often encouraged to ‘be more outgoing’. So it’s worth noting that many Eastern cultures value thoughtful, gentle souls.

The key differences between introverts and extroverts lie in the way we process stumuli. Extroverts thrive on lots of external stimulation, on recharging their energy with other people, thinking on their feet, competition and nurturing a big network. By contrast, introverts need time alone to recharge, breaks from external stimulation, and time and space to think, because we tend to process information more deeply rather than faster. We often prefer to work collaboratively rather than competitively, and value fewer, deeper relationships.

Noise masks insight.

Extroverts thrive in the very situations that drain more introverted folk. Open plan offices directly reduce introverts’ ability to think clearly, while noisy parties can be challenging at best, and downright unpleasant at worst. Small talk can feel awkward and clunky.

I believe everyone needs quietness to some degree. We all come up against personal obstacles, setbacks, heartache and mortality. Quiet reflection is a valuable resource as we navigate through these times.

In what seems like an increasingly war-torn world, peace thrives under quiet appreciation, gratitude and respect, not in the crash of conflict.

There’s nothing to fix.

Quiet, self-contained folk can sometimes felt at odds with the way other people operate – a bit inadequate around more articulate, extrovert people whose very nature is held up as ‘the way to be’. Yet if you believe that double-speed is the only way to go, you risk losing the valuable insights of quieter colleagues and family members.

As a coach with more introvert than extrovert in my makeup, I understand that quiet folk aren’t and shouldn’t try to be extroverts. We’re fine as we are, and the world needs both perspectives. When we accept that quietness is OK too, we can let go of taking ourselves too seriously and show up in our true colours.

We all have a core of inner wisdom that is available to us at any moment when we allow our mind to clear. I can help you cut through the noise and confusion of everyday overload to allow your wisdom to surface more and more often.

So what would you like to achieve or influence? Where would you like to be more visible? What frustrations would you like to overcome? What do you have to give that you’re hesitating to offer? What do you know you’re capable of? What would make your heart sing?


 

And if you have been knocked off balance

by workplace bullying, stress, overload, or anything else at work that has left you feeling diminished and disconnected, you’ll find inspiration and resources at


 

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