Leaning on our Introvert Strengths to Reach for the Sky

Lessons from Our Talent Quiz


Over the past year, over 1850 of you have taken Beyond Introversion's Introvert Talent Quiz. So what have we learned and what have you said?


A couple of weeks ago, my blog focused on the Myers-Briggs assessment and how the results, and our personality traits, are more than just the first letter (Introvert/Extrovert). Last week's guest blogger David Boroughs shared 5 personality facts every leader should know. This week's blog shares our Talent Quiz results and expands on the theme: We have common strengths, yet we are all different!


As you will see, our quiz shows that while there are common themes among us introverts, there is still a wide variety of strengths that come through, not necessarily because of our introversion, but because of the many other facets of our personality, some of which are captured in the other 3 components of the Myers-Briggs.



Survey Says...


The chart indicates scores for all respondents across the 8 traits. It may look like there are subtle differences between the columns, but several items stand out:

  1. The most dominant strength amongst respondents is "Planner." For me, this comes as no surprise. Like most of you, I maintain an intricate task list and calendar, and I pride myself in preparing for meetings and socials. I used to feel this was OCD but I've realized this is just who I am. Rather than hide this trait, I've learned to embrace it and use it often. When I'm prepared for situations, it calms me and helps me be more efficient and effective.

  2. Other commonly strong traits include Learner, Observant, and Thoughtful. Many respondents love to learn and benefit from understanding the history of situations or the background of people. Often we are great observers or listeners. We pick up on many subtle facts and nuances but may feel we are not actively participating. But listening is learning! When we share our unique observations, we often bring unique perspectives into the room. I've pondered the Thoughtful scores and I believe it is derived from our preference, if not need, to skip the chitchat and dig into things - to really get to know people or situations. We do this less often and some people may be taken aback by our approach, but others can sense the personal touch.

  3. The two lowest scores are Sociable and Resilient. I think most of us can understand the Sociable score. However, we must recognize that we CAN be sociable, we CAN engage with others in conversation, and we DO this often. The difference is that we most often socialize in small groups, for abbreviated periods of time, in familiar places, and usually with familiar faces. We don't have to be "working the room" at cocktail hours to be sociable. The results indicate we are not overly resilient. I do think we tend to be quite level-headed which helps in times of stress, but I suspect the lower score arises from our displeasure with conflict and debate.



Grow & Use Your Greatest Strengths

Those who have taken the Quiz have received a detailed report of their scores but more importantly information on how to Grow & Use each trait and the Cautions associated with overuse of the trait. Here are some key takeaways:

TRAIT

GROW & USE

PLANNER

have a system that works for you (planner, app, task list), review meeting agendas and prepare your questions and points, block off private time on your calendar to prepare and re-energize

LEARNER

learn new subjects and skills, consider how processes may become more efficient, study vacation spots, schedule 1:1 sessions with people at work, start a mentoring relationship

OBSERVANT

consciously observe not just words but body language, take meeting notes to help develop unique ideas, repeat what you hear and probe further

THOUGHTFUL

nurture and listen to your family, friends, and work acquaintances, build rapport 1:1, be curious of others and compassionate toward their uniqueness

LOYALIST

cultivate relationships with 1:1 time, recognize hiring people into your work or social team is one of your most important tasks, and ensure others are loyal to the team

CREATIVE

explore new hobbies, consider new work approaches, schedule brainstorming time, let ideas flow without limitations

RESILIENT

don't shy away from using all your emotions at the right moment, calmness in the heat of a crisis is an exceptional skill, moderation is your friend, be mindful and aware of your surroundings

SOCIABLE

small groups and short durations, familiar places and faces, consider who may be there and target some, prepare some talking points about yourself and questions for others

Interesting Observations & Suggestions

The quiz consists of 32 questions. It doesn't take long to complete and all input is confidential. Here are some interesting observations:

  • 70% say they schedule most meetings as opposed to others. This likely reflects introverts' need to plan and organize and our preference for meetings vs. drop-ins.

  • 55% say they prefer to attend someone else's small (3-5 person) socials. Consider being the host. Home-field advantage can be great and hosting duties (prep/serve food, clean up) can relieve some of the social pressures.

  • Only 52% have a paper planner or online app for planning. 13% use sticky notes and 35% use no system at all. I reflect that my system can be overwhelming at times, but it helps me be prepared, be in control, be more productive, and thus calmer.

  • 78% prefer an office with a door vs. 14% a cubicle or 8% preferring open concept. This is not surprising but consider all the casual camaraderie of cubes and open concepts in building relationships without pressure.

  • Only 16% journal with any regularity. This is a great opportunity to get thoughts out of your head, solve some nagging problems or anxieties, and then focus on other things.

  • 46% sit in the back half of a room which I can appreciate, but I later realized if I sit closer to the front, it feels like it is a much smaller group of people because I don't see those behind me. It's less intimidating and I'm more apt to participate.

  • 73% don't raise their hand in meetings but wait to be called. I find getting involved early, even with just an introduction or short comment, relieves the pressure and helps me participate more.

  • 3% use their spare time to hang out with friends while most either read, do hobbies, or watch TV to relax. That sounds familiar!

  • 32% say they don't have any specific creative hobbies. Consider writing (39%), art (34%), jewelry or woodwork (26%), music (24%), or whatever makes you happy.


The key theme from our Talent Quiz is that introverts may be similar but different. Embrace your strengths. Apply them at work and in social situations. This will help you be successful without feeling completely exhausted from acting all day.


Thank You!

Thank you to all 1850+ who have taken this quiz and for those who shared their thoughts too. It is truly humbling that others share their stories with me and our community. Here are some comments from our respondents:


  • "This quiz is a wonderful opportunity for me as an introvert to focus on my strengths."

  • "When I argue I have my facts lined up."

  • "I have always been one to avoid all conflicts."

  • "I need lots of alone time, but I couldn't stand to be alone all the time."

  • "I'm not shy at all. I just feel drained at the end of the week."

  • "I liked this quiz. I always felt different and I didn't know what was wrong with me until I learned about introversion. It has made my life make sense. I am better for it."

  • Susan Cain's book 'Quiet' has greatly influenced my life. I'm now a proud, insightful introvert and continue to seek knowledge about myself and the world around me."

  • "I don't know if introversion has to do with or hinders my success. I don't want this to continue; it made me scared of my future and ambitions."

  • "I really like this quiz, as an antisocial and a person with phobia social, it's pretty hard to do some regular activities, but, I'm working hard every day."

  • "While completing this quiz, I realized there are things I would really like to do but don't."

  • "I would really love to be more comfortable in social settings. This is something I am working on!"

  • "I'm an outgoing introvert. People who don't know me would never guess I'm introverted because I'm so friendly and chatty and social when I'm out. But it exhausts me!"

  • "I thought that this was a great quiz!"


If you haven't taken the quiz, you are welcome to take any or all of our quizzes below.


ALSO, in 2023, our monthly guest bloggers will be YOU! That's right, I'd love to publish your story about your struggles and strengths, and your tips for success at home, in relationships, as a parent, at socials, and at work. Email me with interest and I'll send more information.



 

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Over 2350 people have taken our Strength, Leadership, or Phases Quizzes. Each provides unique insights into who you are and how you can accelerate your own journey.




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