Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 40 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 42 FEATURES Working with people can be the most challenging aspect of anyone's career. No matter the position, every person eventually manages and leads people, whether it is people or tasks at work, children at home, or volunteers contributing to a worthwhile cause. And everyone we work with wants to matter to the organization and be productive and valued. In our work, we can learn to bring out the best in others, which ultimately increases productivity, work product quality and job satisfaction. How do we bring out the best in someone who doesn't speak up and put themselves at risk in front of others … you know — an introvert? Because introverts are often quiet, they can be disregarded, but they have incredible strengths that should not be ignored. Understanding how to leverage these strengths will help you optimize the introvert's contributions to the organization's mission, projects and goals. KNOW THYSELF Let's begin by understanding ourselves. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? We are extraordinarily complex beings, so the introvert (I) or extrovert (E) personality trait is just one of many characteristics we possess. If you have never taken a test to discover your tendency toward introversion or extroversion, take a condensed Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test at Most people will have a stronger preference for one side of the I vs. E spectrum. That preference will indicate whether you are energized or de-energized by performing typical activities of an introvert or extrovert. And remember, even if you score a perfect I or E on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, you can act as an introvert or extrovert in any situation. It is important to stress that understanding your personality type and working toward finding peace with it matters. It is not just enough to realize you are an introvert or extrovert. When you make choices aligned with your temperament, you become energized and excel. Conversely, when you spend too much time battling your own nature, the opposite happens — you deplete your energy. Introverts can develop positive feelings about speaking and socializing, just like an extrovert can cultivate positive feelings about thinking deeply on their own. When you're true to yourself, you feel free, more productive and more creative! A FULLY CHARGED INTROVERT Introverts get a bad rap in our society. They are overlooked because our schools, social events and work environments tend to nurture and reward extroverts over introverts. Think back to when you were in school; teachers would praise those who spoke and, at times, give quiet kids poorer marks for lack of verbal participation, even though they might excel in that subject. It is time to debunk the notion that any person who has a more introverted style is antisocial, unwilling to participate or deficient. As Susan Cain says in her book, "Quiet," there is another descriptive and very accurate word for introverts: thinkers. Bring Out the Best in Introverts

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