Effective communication for introverts

Confident Communication Skills for Introverts

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“There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

― Susan Cain, author of Quiet

Are you an introvert looking to strengthen your communication skills? When Susan Cain interviewed me in preparation for her future best-selling book, she had previously participated in one of my Communication Success workshops designed primarily for introverts. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of helping thousands of introverts significantly improve their personal and professional communication skills through hundreds of workshops and individual consultations.

The key to communication success for introverts is not to act like an extrovert, but to leverage the qualities of introversion with empowering communication skills, so you can achieve the best impact with minimum stress.

Below are tips to confident one-on-one communication in personal and/or professional scenarios, excerpted from my books, Relationship Communication Success for Introverts and Workplace Communication Success for Introverts. You may already be familiar with some of the skills below, and not all of the ideas may apply to you or your particular situation. Simply utilize what’s beneficial and leave the rest.

Five Quick Tips to Confident One-On-One Communication

1. Select a Suitable Physical Environment to Save Energy

Whenever possible, arrange for communication to take place at locales that are relatively quiet. Noisy environments tend to force both you and your conversation partner to speak louder, and may hamper you from thoughtful, reflective discussions. Since color and temperature affect emotions, avoid settings that are brightly lit or painted, which excite the senses and encourage revelry. Also, avoid environments that are uncomfortably warm, which may stir emotions but debilitate thinking (1)(2)(3)(4).

2. Easy Ways to Begin and Maintain One-On-One Communication

“Show interest in others, and others will show interest in you. ” ―Dale Carnegie

The two keys to being at-ease in one-on-one communication are to show interest in others, and ask questions about what they’re interested in. At the start of the conversation, ask open-ended questions about them. If you would like to keep a conversation going, simply select a piece of information your communication partner shared with you, and ask for more elaboration. Asking questions during a conversation is an easy way for introverts to participate actively without having to be too talkative. It has the multiple benefits of saving speech and energy, maintaining engagement, and being attentive to your partner.

3. Easy Ways to Buy Time and Organize Your Thoughts

During the communication, there may be times when you want to be more thoughtful and concise with what you’re about to say, but aren’t ready to speak right away. In these situations, you can “buy time” by letting the other person know that you need a moment to think. Say, for example:

“Give me a second, I want to be very clear with what I’m about to say…”

“Let me have a moment to think this through…”

In our extrovert-oriented society, it isn’t always socially permissible to have a period of silence for thinking in the middle of a conversation. However, by introducing a preface which announces that you need a moment to think, you acquire the social permission to organize your thoughts.

4. Build Breaks Into Lengthy Communication

If the communication gets prolonged and you need to take a break, simply say that you wish to use the restroom, or get a drink of water, or retrieve something from your office or car, and will be right back. During your break, take a moment to surround yourself with solitude. Take nice, long breaths. If you use the restroom, put some cold water on your face, or in front and behind your neck to refresh.

5. How to Diplomatically Exit

When you’re ready to finish the one-on-one communication, give your partner a heads up that after your next comment or questions you’ll need to go do something else. Psychologically prepare the other person for a conclusion for an easier and graceful exit.

For more tips on confident communication for introverts, see references below.

© 2014 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.

An Introvert's Guide to Communicating With Results

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By Caren Merrick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I am a serial entrepreneur and CEO with extrovert tendencies, married to a serial entrepreneur and CEO with introvert tendencies. This has made life interesting, especially as we've built a few businesses and other enterprises together.


Although we are fundamentally different, we actually complement each other's strengths and I have observed considerable professional advantages to my husband's quiet tendencies.

Although conventional wisdom believes you need to be an extrovert to succeed as an entrepreneur, my experience and recent research say otherwise. There is also a false perception that introverts don't communicate and lead with great influence or effectiveness.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Related: How to Network When You're an Introvert

Just look at introverted entrepreneurial leaders across business, literature, science and activism who have changed the world -- including Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Rosa Parks and Mark Zuckerberg to name a few.

Over 50 percent of the U.S. workforce self-identifies as introvert and 64 percent of workers believe their organization does not fully harness the talents of introverted employees.

So whether you are an introvert yourself, or leading a team that includes introverts, you'll benefit by understanding the opportunities and advantages available for introverts who want to communicate for greater results.

Here are seven tips to unleash the advantage of your introverted tendencies at work:

1. Know yourself, your tendencies and strengths.

That's the key to maximizing your talents and putting yourself in the zone of stimulation that is right for you. You may think you are an extrovert, but may be an ambivert, which is a mix of both. That describes me; I'm energized by people, but also love to find big chunks of quiet time to think and problem solve.

There are a few quick tests you can take to see where you fall. The results may surprise you and will give you insights on how to leverage your strengths and identify areas for improvement.

2. Embrace quality over quantity in conversations.

Introverts naturally prefer smaller groups and one-on-one interaction. This tendency is actually an advantage because leaders and aspiring leaders must build trust and rapport with their management teams, key customers, analysts and even media who cover their business, and that happens one conversation at a time.

Make sure you spend time with the most important people -- those who are critical to your business success and personal happiness. Your depth and thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

3. Equip yourself with a variety of tools.

For those inevitable, yet essential social occasions (networking events, your spouse's board meeting socials, etc.) have a few open-ended questions on hand that can deepen the conversation. Try these from introvert expert Jennifer Granneman:

  • "Are you working on anything exciting lately?"
  • "What has been the highlight of your week?"
  • "What are your thoughts on [insert recent issue in the news lately]?"

Open-ended questions invite the other person to say more than just a few words.

4. Invest in your communications skills.

Great communicators aren't born -- they work at it. Learning new skills doesn't mean denying your introvert qualities, or being someone you're not. It builds confidence for the variety of unavoidable situations you encounter. Every single person in the workplace would do well to invest in improving their communications, whether they are introverts or extroverts.

Related: Introverts: 4 Ways to Be Yourself and Be a Charismatic Leader

There are scores of training programs, books, conferences, online courses and coaches to meet your unique needs. Whether you're already a CEO or on your way, you'll be required to step up to bigger platforms and share your vision and message.

And if you think introverts can't become extraordinary public speakers, be inspired by Susan Cain, introvert and author of Quiet in her TEDTalk about introversion; one of the most viewed TEDTalks of all time.

5. Give yourself alone-time to think, imagine.

Go with your flow and make it a priority to carve out some alone time. This is where most of your best ideas emerge -- ideas that are powerful, unique and will differentiate you and your business. Guard this time by blocking it out on your calendar.

According to Marti Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage, introverts are thoughtful, imaginative, tend to work independently and think outside the box.

6. Make meetings work for you.

While it's true that too many meetings are poorly planned and poorly run, they are still opportunities for you to influence outcomes for the good. First, if you must attend a meeting, think in advance what ideas you'd like to share.

During a meeting, know that it is perfectly acceptable to not immediately answer a question. According to Val Nelson, a writer about introverts, you might say, "I'm hearing some good points, I have some thoughts brewing and would like to come back to it a bit later." This may feel awkward at first, but both you and your colleagues will appreciate the thoughtfulness in your approach.

Also, don't hesitate to set boundaries around how many meetings you will attend. My observation is that if you are proving yourself valuable with your ideas and work in general, you can be excused from attending a lot of unnecessary meetings.

You can even suggest changing the structure of a meeting. If someone wants to have a brainstorming session, consider doing it as an online brainstorm so that you have time to think before you contribute.

7. Go easy on yourself outside your comfort zone.

If a conversation didn't go according to plan or ended on an awkward note, keep your sense of humor. Most people don't notice -- and if they do, they soon forget. Spend a few moments reflecting and you'll probably find at least one takeaway lesson for next time.

Related: 6 Truths on Why Introverts Make Great Leaders

As Denis Waitley writes, "Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker." Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

These seven ideas will empower you, or the introverts you know to maximize their inherent strengths and your entire enterprise will benefit.

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Effective Communication for Introvert Programmers / Sudo Null IT News

Are there no introverts?

Some time ago I realized that it is very difficult for me to be successful and effective if you cannot communicate with other people through the mouth. For example, I started studying Product Management and realized that I need to communicate a lot with people and do interviews. Or else, I looked for part-time jobs through acquaintances at events, but sometimes I could not give out a single business card and left with nothing.

However, like most programmers, I can also be conditionally called an introvert, but now I still decided to write this article and reveal myself. And he even spoke with this topic as a speaker at the IT festival TabTabus in Smolensk. How did I get to this life, you ask? It's all about self-esteem.

I'm learning pascal in 2004

I'm going to talk to you today about the following topics: the problems of the typical introverted programmer and how I solved them, methods for upgrading self-esteem, ways to solve uniqueness. I will not tell a bare theory, but what I myself used and lived through.

You need this if you want to build an effective career, develop to a manager, launch a startup or assemble a team for a hackathon contest, or improve your personal life.

A little about me: I graduated from Baumanka in 2013, I am a typical IT specialist, and in my senior years I got into the 1C Rarus internship program, passed the selection and worked there for two years. Now I am engaged in automation of business processes in a large company. I have many different hobbies, among them networking at business events can be especially distinguished, I am interested in psychology.

A bit of theory


Coined the term Introvert Carl Jung. But what he was talking about has nothing to do with shyness and isolation, but only about the direction of your internal energy. In introverts, it is focused on mental activity within themselves, and in extroverts, on external objects. And what is usually associated with the concept of an introvert - isolation, shyness, taciturnity - is a consequence of your fears and low self-esteem.

That's why I say that introverts don't exist! There are just people with low self-esteem who are afraid or don't know how to communicate. And there are people with adequate self-esteem (not overestimated, because this is the other extreme) - those who believe in themselves, are open to the world and everything new and are ready to move forward.

5 areas of self-assessment.

Self-esteem is our opinion about ourselves, based on the opinion of others, most often our significant environment - parents, friends, colleagues. Synonyms for self-esteem are self-confidence, self-confidence. How do people who have poor self-esteem think about themselves - I won’t succeed, where I go, look how cool there are and who you are, be afraid of rejection. A self-confident person just walks and communicates, is not afraid to hear no. Perceives the world as an interesting place full of possibilities. Do not hesitate to ask a beautiful girl on a date or to be interviewed in a cool company.


There are 5 areas of self-esteem: appearance, personal qualities, relationships with others, professional sphere, hobbies. And if programmers are good with their professional sphere and hobbies (who else loves board games?), then personal qualities (soft skills) and relationships with girls often suffer.

Our belief in ourselves helps us achieve goals, set goals, strive and dream. It is one of the main components of success in all areas of activity. Self-esteem is overestimated, low and adequate. I'll tell you honestly - I rarely met people with high self-esteem, because as a rule, self-doubt or just rudeness is hidden behind ostentatious pride and spoiledness. As for people with low self-esteem, unfortunately, there are too many of them. “I can’t do it”, “I can’t”, “who needs it”, “who am I anyway” and other similar thoughts come to almost everyone’s mind at the most crucial moments of life.

Can a person who is not self-confident be successful in business and communication? Can such a person build effective relationships with clients and partners? How to establish business contacts if self-doubt binds your tongue and does not allow you to utter a word? I will answer you - No way! Therefore, for effective communication in any (yes, absolutely any) situation, you need to pump your self-esteem up to level 80.

You can assess the level of self-esteem by your actions. You accept praise and gratitude, do not belittle merit, calmly react to rejection, you shut up the inner critic, do not tolerate criticism of others in your address, do not compare yourself with anyone. And here we come to the most interesting thing - how to pump self-esteem?

Inner critic

The biggest problem for people with low self-esteem is their inner critic.

inner critic

Psychologists say that our inner critic is a subpersonality inseparable from us, extremely harmful and preventing us from living, which was formed in childhood under the influence of significant adults for us - parents and teachers. It is his voice that sounds in our head when we think that we can’t do anything or are not interested in anyone. Time to give him a headshot!

5 methods of working with the inner critic.

typical inner critic

1) Visualization! imagine what it looks like. Give it a name. In my mind, he looks like a grouchy old woman, fat, short, in a greasy dressing gown, with gray hair gathered in a bun. I call her Baba Tonya. When you know the enemy by sight, it is easier to deal with him. If you visualized this critic, then you either need to kill him bloodthirstyly, for example, as soon as the woman Tonya jumps out with criticism, I visualize how I discharge a shotgun into her. Or, if you are not so bloodthirsty, imagine small, small and with a thin, funny voice. What can this squeak do to you?

and what?

2) Next, learn the ancient mantra: "and chooooo"? Read it every time you think you're screwed, you can't. Indeed, what terrible thing will happen if you approach a person, and he does not want to talk to you? Will the world collapse? The carriage will turn into a pumpkin, and you will lose your shoe? Will your tank have a critical penetration? The mantra "and cho" will help you understand that nothing irreparable will happen. If a person did not want to communicate with you, then this is not because you are a loser, but because he simply did not want to. It's not about you, but there can be a million reasons: for example, he had a stomachache. Or ear tight. Or he is afraid to communicate with words through his mouth. The mantra “and cho” makes it easier to accept rejections and perceive the world as a positive place, save you from unnecessary stress and pump indifference.

3) Separate the flies from the cutlets, that is, the actions from the person. When you try and it doesn't work, it's not that the person is a handyman, but perhaps you should have read the manual, asked for help. Criticizing yourself is an ineffective strategy. Everyone has the right to make mistakes, and your actions do not say what you are.

I'm handsome!

4) Get used to praising yourself every day! Praise yourself for achievements, and just like that. This must be done out loud, in front of witnesses, and at least 3 times a day. For example, when I have coded complex code, I say out loud to myself "I'm handsome." Not only does this help you become more confident in yourself, but others like it. You will be surprised, but people like it when someone next to them does not hesitate to praise himself. This changes our subjective reality from minus to plus.

People with a positive perception of themselves are positively perceived by the outside world. Of course, situations are different, and people are inadequate, but this is more an exception to the rule than a pattern. If you don't love and praise yourself, the environment won't love you either.

5) One of the most important rules is not to let anyone criticize you, even those close to you, even with the best of intentions. The only one who can criticize you is a more experienced specialist in the field in which feedback is given. For example, as a programmer, I can give advice to novice programmers and make constructive comments on their code. However, I have no right to criticize, for example, the appearance of other people, their style of dress, because I am not a professional stylist. What may seem terrible to me may look beautiful in the eyes of others.

Remember - if you give advice, you take responsibility. The person who followed your advice has every right to ask you for the result, and it doesn’t matter that the phrase “it was your choice, and I just gave you advice” is dishonest, because advice is given for one purpose - so that your interlocutor follows them.

And finally!

Don't forget to please your inner child. Let me explain, modern psychology says that there are three emotional states inside us - Child, Parent, Adult. In order to avoid emotional burnout and not to plow at work, you need to periodically release your child, engage in a hobby, something for the soul. This gives us resources for further activities.

NO programmer

Learn to say no. If you don't like something, or you don't want to do something, you don't have to agree. Do not try to be kind and good for everyone, otherwise they will sit on the neck. "Tyzhprogrammer" - fix my iron! Remember that if a person wants to be offended, he will be offended anyway. By refusing a person, you do not reject him, you refuse what you do not like, you do not offend him, you have the right not to want something. If the person insists, at first politely but firmly say that you are uncomfortable. And if he continues, just leave, well, or send him the fuck, according to the situation.

It is important to protect your personal boundaries. Of course, first you need to realize them: to understand how it is impossible with you and how it is necessary with you. And when others, for whatever reason, step on your boundaries, you need to protect them. Revealing personal boundaries is a topic for a separate article!

This concludes my article. I hope you were interested. I would like to especially acknowledge the contribution of my wife, Natalie, and my motivational mentor, Olya, who helped me write this text.

The article was written based on my speech in August 2020 at the IT festival TabTabus in Smolensk.

How to communicate with introverts — GBPOU RS(Y) "Vilyui Vocational Pedagogical College named after N.

G. Chernyshevsky"

Letters very often come with a variety of questions relating to relationships between people. And one of the main general recommendations of our psychologists at a psychological consultation is a frank conversation.

But what if the conversation does not come out? If you need to talk and in response - silence, if your interlocutor does not want to talk? And constantly! You can seek more detailed advice for psychological counseling, or just read this article.

There is a special type of people. A sort of chronic silent. Scientific language - introverts.

A typical introvert is a calm, shy, even reserved person. The personal qualities of an introvert are interpreted in different ways, but one thing unites them - these people do not like and do not know how to talk, in any case, to talk in the way that relatives require them to.

But a silent person - an introvert - is not a diagnosis! Given some features, you can discover the secret - how to communicate with an introvert?

It is important to understand that you are very different, you think differently. The same thing can have completely different meanings for you and for the “silent person”. Their personal space should not be invaded unexpectedly. Probably, the main difficulties for these people arise precisely in order to quickly find an answer, therefore, in a conversation with them, one cannot demand an immediate reaction. What for you is a way to reduce stress, let off steam, for them, on the contrary, it may be very difficult. After a short, serious conversation, such people may feel exhausted. Your perception is different, and you need to ask if you understand what is said correctly. But very carefully - if you are suspected of being unable to understand - write wasted. Better yet, consult with a psychologist first.

Often, people who are reserved and unsociable simply take longer to establish trust. To begin with, it is especially important to give them the opportunity to talk - no matter what, about something that is interesting and important to them. Do not interrupt, do not react emotionally (it's scary). Active listening means giving occasional signals that you are listening and asking questions to allow the story to continue. It will have to be expressed clearly and specifically, very clearly. In order not to confuse. And don't get confused.

A common feature of introverts is the secrecy that so often offends loved ones. In this case, it is important to understand that you are not being deceived, you are simply not being told the truth. The same sometimes introverts can lie. But it's more of a childish method of ripping pages out of a diary and forging grades to avoid a serious conversation.

Interestingly, there is a completely physiological reason for this behavior - some people have a constantly high level of electrical activity of the brain, therefore, a higher excitation of the cortex than extroverts, which is why they learn from early childhood to limit their communication in order to avoid the extreme point arousal level. A great way to transfer part of the communication into writing is really easier.

Also, such people may have a strong fear that if they “take off the mask” and start talking, they will become more vulnerable and manageable, such fears should be dealt with in consultations with a psychologist, and not left to chance. If you have problems communicating with a closed person, it is better to contact a psychologist for advice so as not to make mistakes.

Reclusion is not always an innate feature, often it is the consequences of a mental trauma, and in this case it is necessary to be even more careful, even more patient. The best solution to the problem of isolation is psychological counseling. You can ask a psychologist a question and get a recommendation on how to communicate with an introvert in more detail. An introvert is not a sentence! An introvert can be an excellent scientist, researcher, observer, writer, or self-employed person. As well as a faithful and loving spouse, a talented specialist. If you find in yourself the features of an introvert, and this bothers you, do not despair, you can very effectively learn to live in harmony with yourself using psychological methods.

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