A guest post by Mrs. Quiet-and-Strong
The other day, I was talking on the phone with a client and I had an interesting experience. The man I was speaking with was a pastor by trade so he was likely an eloquent speaker in his profession, but clearly an introvert. During our phone discussion, he was having a hard time articulating what he wanted. I could tell he’d studied out the products he was inquiring about from my company, but he really needed to stop and think about his questions while we were talking.
I am an introvert myself, but living in an extrovert-biased society, I think we’ve all been conditioned to feel uncomfortable with silence during conversations. As I am very well-versed in the products we were discussing, I desperately wanted to help my client out by filling in the gaps in our conversation and helping him finish his sentences… but, after working with Mr. Quiet-and-Strong on this blog, I stopped, I shut up, and I listened. I gave my client time to think and let him finish his own sentences. I let him explain what he needed. We had a nice conversation.
If we as introverts cannot allow other introverts the time they need to think, or enjoy the sound of silence ourselves, how can we expect extraverts to do this? The change needs to start with us!