There are always a few star players at your company who often speak up during meetings, contribute plenty of new ideas and feedback, and are generally the most vocal members of your workforce.
But just because some of your other employees may be on the quiet side means they have nothing to say.
A large percentage of the population (roughly 50%) identify as “introverts.” They tend to remain relatively quiet in social situations, including the workplace.
Being an introvert certainly isn’t a bad thing. But it does mean that these employees may feel uncomfortable in situations where the extroverts take charge. Companies tend to reward extroverts, who freely share their opinions and speak their minds.
Introverts don’t verbally contribute as much for a myriad of reasons: they may be concerned about having nothing to say; they won’t be able to articulate their thoughts; or they may be worried about negative feedback – (the latter two can lead to silence instead of sharing potentially great ideas).
So how do you get your introverts to feel more comfortable? Start with a mindfulness meditation program.
There are a number of mindfulness meditation benefits that can specifically help your introverts in the office to feel more comfortable about sharing their voice and opinions.
- Mindfulness meditation trains people to focus on the present moment while disregarding unhelpful “what ifs?” or future worst-case scenarios.
Some introverts may have had negative experiences in the past that prevent them from speaking up. Mindfulness meditation allows the brain to draw a barrier between past anxieties and present opportunities.
- Mindfulness meditation helps with confidence as well as anxiety. One of the reasons why extroverts shine at the workplace is because they have confidence in their opinions. They have the ability to speak - and speak often – without fear of what others may think.
With mindfulness meditation, introverts can naturally hone this skill as well. They can have a boost in confidence that makes speaking in otherwise uncomfortable situations, (like at a meeting, a conference, or with the boss), much more manageable.
- Introverts tend to avoid situations that invite confrontation or criticism. Luckily, mindfulness meditation can help with this too, and not just at work.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to increase compassion and promote better negotiation skills in individuals These skills make it easier to foster more give-and-take conversations with both introverts and extroverts alike.
Mindfulness meditation will certainly help everyone at your workforce, but new studies suggest that it may very well be the introverts that benefit the most from embracing a company-wide meditation program.
And this is an important thing to keep in mind, as introverts are invaluable to your company. They likely make up half of your workforce, as the MBTI personality test estimates that the population is equally split between extraverts and introverts. Their more hidden qualities can provide a ton of insight and beneficial ideas, after learning to share them through the mindfulness meditation program.
After all, introverts listen, process, and tend not to speak unless they are sure what they say is valuable. For these reasons their voices are essential for a company’s success, growth, and continued progress.
We Can Help
Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you. I offer both classes in my office and online.