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Leadership workshop to highlight the power of introverts

Kasey McClure, on behalf of the Center for Leadership Development, will show a TED Talk by Susan Cain on the power of introverts Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in Levinson Hall.

This topic was chosen for the leadership workshop by McClure, coordinator of student service and outreach.

After watching Cain’s TED Talk and doing research on introverts, McClure thought it would be helpful to share this information at the workshop.

 “For the most part, today’s society caters to the extrovert, and this can be seen in our educational system, business settings and so on,” McClure said. “However, introverts add incredible value to today’s society.”

Cain, a former corporate lawyer, negotiations consultant and self-described introvert, said at least one-third of the people we know are introverts.

Despite the stereotype that introverts are awkward individuals, introverts are actually very important to a well-functioning society. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Bill Gates, many successful people in the world have described themselves as introverted.

According to The Myers & Briggs Foundation, the main difference between introverts and extroverts is how each type of person energizes. Extroverts receive energy from being around others and participating in lots of activities. But introverts gain energy from spending time alone and interacting with ideas inside of their head.

“[Introverts] are thought provoking and energizing, but they need time to re-charge differently than an extrovert,” McClure said.

Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean being shy. Introverts choose to be alone in order to recharge after spending time with others.

Shy people choose solitude because of social anxiety and fear of how others  might perceive them.

In an article by Jeff Boss in Forbes Magazine, a key strength of introverts is recognized.

“One difference between introverts and extroverts with significant leadership implications is that introverts listen more; they are more open to new ideas and therefore implement suggestions of others to a greater degree,” Boss said.

Active listening is a skill that introverts tend to be good at. Listening is essential for communication and progress.

Just like the generally louder, outgoing extroverts, quieter introverts can become powerful leaders in society and servants for Christ.

“From a Christian perspective, we were all created in God’s image, both extroverts and introverts,” McClure said. “Introverts bring a powerful perspective to life.”

The TED Talk video will be followed by discussion so students can share their own thoughts and experiences either as introverts or interacting with one.