Shake Off A Shy Reputation At Work By Making Your Strengths Clearer

Shake Off A Shy Reputation At Work By Making Your Strengths Clearer

Whether you think of yourself as introverted at work or just plain shy, it’s hard to really show your best side at the office when people have assume you’re just the quiet type. The Wall Street Journal outlines a few ways shy types can overcome this problem and get noticed.

The Wall Street Journal talks with self-described introvert Thomas G. Lynch, who worked with a career coach to learn how to get noticed more at work:

Mr. Lynch made a list of his strengths: his focus on the customer, technical skill and being a team player. He enjoys making presentations when he can prepare in advance. Ms. Cohen also had him list his values, to understand what motivates him. To his surprise, it wasn’t status or money, Mr. Lynch says. “For me, it’s about helping people. Once I reassessed what was important to me, I came to realise that I am more successful than I thought.”

He and Ms. Cohen concluded, based on the exercises, that becoming an extrovert “was the wrong goal,” Ms. Cohen says. Some of Mr. Lynch’s best qualities were tied to his reflective style.

They refocused on helping Mr. Lynch present himself differently, as an innovator and an expert on public-sector clients. “I realised I needed to stop flying under the radar and take more risks,” Mr. Lynch says.

Ms. Cohen urged him to speak up more often in meetings. “Sometimes you need to react in the moment, with something that is not 100% fleshed out” to be seen as a full participant, Ms. Cohen told him. She also suggested he talk more with managers about specific contributions he wanted to make.

Of course, Lynch’s tactics won’t exactly match your own, but the point here is that even if you’re shy at work you can still get noticed without completely changing your behaviour.

Shaking Off a Shy Reputation at Work [The Wall Street Journal]

Picture: Gage Skidmore


  • Suggested not to become an extrovert, but needed to make noise in meetings and stop flying under the radar? Sounds like extrovert actions to me…

    To make your strengths clearer you need to make some noise. While you don’t have to go full out like an extrovert, you do need to be heard to get places.

    Skills/strengths are irrelevant.

    • IIRC being an extrovert isn’t about being loud or the centre of attention, it’s more about getting your energy from being around people. Even if an extrovert is fairly quiet they can spend hours around people happily whereas an introvert will tire of social situations and will need alone time to recharge.

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