I love the Offbeat Empire SO MUCH that I have overcome my fear of putting myself out in the world to ask you guys this question. I have been at a great job for six months and have just had my second employee review. What came up is that my boss thinks I need to be more confident and assertive and forge better relationships with my colleagues. He also said that he has had feedback from people who, before they had much to do with me, had thought I was rude because I was uncommunicative — although he has stressed that people like me now and realize that I am just shy.
My work seems to be mostly full of extroverted, hard-working, high-energy people (that definitely describes my boss). I am finding myself getting more introverted as I get older (pretty sure I was never this bad in school) and I have trouble initiating conversations with people, especially over the phone. I am perfectly able to become excited over things that I am passionate about, which includes my job most of the time, but I can be prone to being quiet and too much conversation wears me out. I don’t think well in meetings of more than three people, so I don’t often speak up when there is a general staff meeting.
I’d like to be able to communicate better with my colleagues without unduly stressing about all the social interaction. Do any homies have advice for dealing with being the introvert in the workplace? –Lee