It’s one of the most common fallacies in business: extroversion equates to rapid success and leadership, while introversion means inherent limitations to opportunity. Reality could not be further from the truth. Matthew Pollard, CEO of Rapid Growth, LLC, joined Negotiate Anything to discuss.
Why We’ve Adopted This Belief
In business, most professionals have been socialized to believe that success depends largely on who you know, how well you network, and your ability to sell/persuade others. In short, it’s an extrovert’s game.
We’ve come to believe that those who come out on top, do so because of their ability to engage with others – almost non-stop. This is true, to a degree. Almost all professionals have felt compelled to attend a conference or networking event in order to advance themselves or their company.
For introverts, this perceived reality can be incredibly daunting with only two options seemingly present: exhaust yourself to get ahead or stand back and accept that opportunities may be limited.
Introversion vs. Extroversion
Matthew Pollard, a self-proclaimed introvert and highly successful consultant and entrepreneur, has a fairly simple way to distinguish between introversion and extroversion.
The question to ask yourself: where do I draw my energy from?
If you find yourself energized after being around others, you are likely more extroverted than introverted. On the other hand, if you find yourself drained after interacting with others and in need of solo time to re-energize, you are probably an extrovert.
It’s important not to overthink this assessment, as many people may find themselves somewhere in the middle. Instead, try to think of how you obtain energy most of the time.
Introverts Have an Advantage
If you identify as an introvert, there is a high likelihood that you have a bias against yourself when it comes to business or negotiation. The truth is, the introverted mind can prove to be incredibly advantageous.
Due to the energy they draw from social interactions, extroverts tend to be more comfortable speaking on the fly. While this isn’t always the case, it can typically mean that they spend less time planning what they intend to say. Introverts, on the other hand, are usually very careful to think through what they intend to say when the time comes. As internal processors, this can become second-nature.
So, what does this mean? For introverts, planning comes naturally. This is a critical advantage when we think about preparing for important negotiations or identifying a strategy for business success.
“There is not one [business] behavior where you will not benefit from having a methodical process that you plan and prepare,” Pollard explained. “Introverts have an advantage because they are willing to take the steps to learn the process.”
Identifying the Right Process
It’s one thing to plan for a process and another to know what the correct process actually is. According to Pollard, there may not be one right answer to this question, and that’s ok.
“Just find one process and stick to it,” he advised.
In today’s society there are thousands of experts, books, and resources to consult when looking for advice in business. Not only can this be overwhelming, but it can make deciding on one process difficult.
For those who decide on a model, it’s equally common for people to make modifications or enhancements that they believe will speed up success. Pollard advises against this.
He shared, “Follow somebody’s methodical process without the bells and whistles and practice until you get it right.”
While this process will take time, and patience, the outcome (mastery) is sure to help you improve your skill-set in the particular area. If you’re looking to become better at sales, lock in on one strategy from a highly successful salesperson and commit to practicing until you start to see results.
For those hoping to become more confident in negotiations, research successful attorneys, negotiators, deal-makers etc. who also happen to be introverted. Study their approach and practice until you find yourself increasingly comfortable (and walking away with better deals).
Despite all of this, Pollard asserts that the most important thing for introverts to remember is that success is possible.
“The truth is that the hardest thing for an introvert to do is to believe they can,” he explained. “Learning the process isn’t the hardest part, it’s believing that they can actually implement and do it.
To learn more about Matthew Pollard, visit www.matthewpollard.com. To listen to the full episode, click here.