Valuing the Role of Introverts in the Workplace, with Dr. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler – Ep #19

Does your organization value the role of their introverts in the workplace? Are you an introvert who has struggled to find your voice? Do you want to help your workplace become more equitable for introverts? Here to help us understand introverts and how we can best empower them is Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler.

Jennifer is an author and global speaker hailed as a “champion for introverts.” Her bestselling books, “The Introverted Leader,” “Quiet Influence,” and “The Genius of Opposites” have been translated into sixteen languages and help introverts throughout the world expand their leadership capacity.

Jennifer has been invited to deliver keynote speeches and seminars in Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and Paraguay. She has also been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of When Science Speaks

  • [0:45] Mark introduces his guest, Jennifer Kahnweiler.
  • [2:50] You might be an introvert if…
  • [6:15] What went into the second edition of Jennifer’s book, “The Introverted Leader?”
  • [9:40] Jennifer talks about the value of emotional intelligence.
  • [12:30] Three ways to engage in international collaborations and be more effective.
  • [17:00] How introversion shows up differently in men and women.
  • [23:00] Elevating the voices of introverts.
  • [27:30] Common challenges for introverts and how to address them.
  • [35:45] How social media can help introverts expand their brand.

Connect with Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler

Resources & People Mentioned

Key characteristics of introverts.

Chances are you are an introvert or someone in your family is one. We can’t all be the life of the party and everyone’s best friend. If you don’t understand how introverts operate, here is a brief rundown of some of their characteristics, keep in mind that introversion and extroversion exist on a spectrum.

You might be an introvert if…

  • You have to get away and get alone to recharge after spending time with people.
  • You are energized by solitude, and you must have breaks alone.
  • You are reserved, and you only express your thoughts after thinking about them.
  • You are private at first and then slowly open up as you get to know someone.
  • You have a low-key facial expression.
  • You are humble and don’t like to boast about your achievements.

Throughout their conversation, Mark and Jennifer continue to elaborate on these characteristics as they expand their discussion on introversion. You can also further your education on introverts in the workplace by reading Jennifer’s book,  “The Introverted Leader.”

Creating space for introverts in the workplace.

Now that you have an idea of how introverts show up in the workplace, it’s time to consider what we can do in both professional and educational environments to encourage their contributions. According to Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, pausing during a meeting to make sure more introverted people have the chance to speak can be helpful, especially if it comes from a person in power.

We should also keep in mind the role that gender expectations and “norms” play when it comes to identifying and reacting to introversion. Unfortunately, it is expected that women in the workplace should be bubbly and inviting while men should be stoic and unemotional. These gender stereotypes and expectations can cause undue stress and unique challenges for introverts.  

While it might not be easy, taking intentional steps to hear from our introverted colleagues will end up enriching both learning and working environments.    

To hear more from Jennifer on how to create inviting spaces for introverts in the workplace, make sure to listen to her full conversation with Mark on this engaging episode of When Science Speaks.

Connect With Mark and When Science Speaks

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