When I first started my placement year with Cummins Power Generation I was a complete introvert, minding my own business, doing my work in my corner, dealing only with my laptop, hardly ever with people. Things like starting a conversation, having a constructive discussion, asking questions or simply talking about the weather (which most people find as easy as breathing) proved to be the most difficult tasks for me. I was placed in a business environment where communication was crucial; however, I was unable to connect with the people around me.
Now, the description of the situation above is just one of dozens of others just like it. And every single time I found myself in a situation like this I kept thinking my behaviour had to change (even though deep down I still believed introverts were pretty excellent). But I finally understand now, thanks to my manager who has been teaching, supporting and coaching me in every aspect of my job, including my behaviour on a personal and professional level, that adapting to the situation is all I need to do (be a ‘part-time extrovert’)- change is not needed.
Adapt- this will make a unexpectedly big difference in whatever you do- read the ‘signs’, understand the variables and shape your behaviour, words, attitude, body posture to match and master the situation. Don’t be afraid of who you are; we are all unique in our own way and have a different input to bring to the table. Sharpen your ‘reading’ of what the other people at the table need and adapt to meet the expectations.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? – have you ever tried something like this?
BSc Human Resources Management