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Have you ever seen movies with superheroes who, at the start of their journey, wonder why they feel so different than everyone else?  Have you felt different than those around you?  Maybe you just need to discover your own introvert superpowers!

In this week’s episode, David speaks with Jill Chang, the author of Quiet Is a Superpower: The Secret Strengths of Introverts in the Workplace.  Jill, an international speaker, leader, and author, shares her tips for making the most of your own introverted superpowers, such as how to prepare for and have your voice heard in meetings, becoming a successful public speaker, or being an amazing leader, by uncovering your superpowers as an introvert! 

Listen now to learn how you can use your introverted qualities to your advantage when giving speeches, leading a team, or just getting your voice heard.

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Jill has fifteen years of international experience in diverse industries including sports, state government, and nonprofits. She currently oversees a team spread across twenty-three countries and has delivered over two hundred public speeches in the past two years alone. She is described as “not needing a script” and “the wonder woman who makes things happen, bare-handed.”

As evidence that Jill is someone who doesn’t follow a traditional script, she entered the sports industry as a professional sports agent at the age of twenty-six and successfully signed five major league contracts for her clients within eighteen months. When she worked for the US state government, she was in charge of procuring and trading projects between the US and Asia. 

She is now devoted to international philanthropy. Jill is also a Fellow of Harvard SEED for Social Innovation and was featured in Girls in Tech Taiwan 40 Under 40 in 2018. The traditional Chinese version of her book Quiet Is a Superpower was the #1 bestseller and stayed among the Top 10 bestsellers in Taiwan for 20 weeks, and is currently the bestseller in Japan.

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Get Jill’s Book: Quiet Is a Superpower: The Secret Strengths of Introverts in the Workplace

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Website: injill.com

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Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast: 

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com

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david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;32;10
Jill Chang
For people’s background information. I manage a Facebook group and also a LinkedIn group where introverts get together and share experience and it is actually one of the most frequently asked questions. What is the best job for introverts? And I think a lot of people get confusion especially when they are young professionals. And recently we’ve noticed that even for people who’ve been working for ten, 15 years, they are also confused too, like, Oh, this job isn’t for me.

00;00;32;18 – 00;00;49;20
Jill Chang
Is there a perfect job for introverts? And my answer is always as long as you care about it, you can turn any job into the best job in the world, especially for introverts, because introverts energies come from within.

00;00;58;18 – 00;01;21;16
David Hall
Hello and welcome to Episode 94 of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host David Hall, and the creator of QuietandStrong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally while each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;01;21;23 – 00;01;46;00
David Hall
Leave me a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Jill Chang has 15 years of international experience in diverse industries, including sports, state, government and nonprofit IT. She currently oversees a team spread across 23 countries and has delivered over 200 public speeches in the past two years.

00;01;46;17 – 00;02;14;19
David Hall
She’s described as not needing a script and the Wonder Woman who makes things happen barehanded. As evidence that Jill, as someone who doesn’t need to follow a traditional script. She entered the sports industry as a professional sports agent at the age of 26 and successfully signed five major league contracts for her clients within 18 months. When she worked for the US State Government, she was in charge of procuring and trading projects between the US and Asia.

00;02;15;03 – 00;02;38;13
David Hall
She is now devoted to international philanthropy and is a fellow of Harvard SEED for Social Innovation and was featured in Girls in Tech Taiwan 40 under 40 in 2018. The traditional Chinese version of her book, Quiet as a Superpower, was the number one bestseller and stayed among the top ten bestsellers in Taiwan for 20 weeks. And she’s currently the bestseller in Japan.

00;02;39;01 – 00;02;55;10
David Hall
She’s based in Taipei, Taiwan, with her family and regularly travels across the world to make global impact in both philanthropy and helping introverts in their career and leadership development. Well, I’m excited for my guest, Jill. Jill, welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast.

00;02;56;01 – 00;02;58;20
Jill Chang
Hi David, Hi everyone. Thank you for having me.

00;02;59;12 – 00;03;16;20
David Hall
Yes. Jill has written a great book for introverts. I love the title Quiet is a Superpower, and I highly recommend this book and we’re going to get into the contents of it today. Before we do that, though. Jill, I always like to talk with people about what was your journey? When did you figure out you were an introvert?

00;03;16;20 – 00;03;23;26
David Hall
And then how did you embrace that for the success that you’ve had? And then now writing a book like this and helping other introverts.

00;03;25;04 – 00;03;50;10
Jill Chang
Yeah. So growing up, I was always the one of the most quiet girls in the class, but I didn’t know the word introvert at that point. I was always thought I was quiet and I thought it was my weakness because I really envy people who could make friends quickly there they are always in the center of attention. They’re likeable and cheerful.

00;03;51;06 – 00;04;18;28
Jill Chang
So I always thought, okay, maybe I need to train myself to be somewhat like that. So I did. I really literally mimicked whatever they say and then trying to be a different person. It worked for a little bit, especially after I started working, because my career started in the sports industry. It was a very competitive and very aggressive industry.

00;04;19;13 – 00;04;48;19
Jill Chang
I try very hard to compete with the others with a different self. It’s almost like wearing an armor too, to be someone else. And then one day I realized, okay, maybe this is not going to work because I spent so much time and energy on putting on the armor and pretending to be someone that I’m not. So I spent almost all my energy doing that.

00;04;48;19 – 00;05;13;22
Jill Chang
And I didn’t have much time or effort or energy to do whatever that needs to be done at work. So that was the time that I came across Susan Cain’s Quiet, the book. It was it was a life changing book for me, because that was when I realized, oh, my gosh, I’m not weird. I’m not worse than the others.

00;05;13;24 – 00;05;48;01
Jill Chang
I’m just different. So that’s when I realized, okay, I’m an introvert and there are some strengths of introverts, instead of trying to be an extrovert, I need to do something to really embrace myself and take advantage of the strength that I already have, and then try to use it in my work and in my life. So that that was the turning point that I started to embrace myself as an introvert and then start exploring my potential and possibility as an introvert.

00;05;48;23 – 00;06;04;29
David Hall
Yeah. Susan Cain’s book has been so great for so many people. It’s mentioned often on this show and I highly recommend it as well. What was the message that you got from it that really was life changing for you?

00;06;05;12 – 00;06;32;07
Jill Chang
I think the idea of introvert is it’s really new to me. What’s very new to me at that time, because I didn’t know I saw it. It was just me like, I’m the weirdo. I’m the outlier. And I need to be change or I need to be fixed. But after reading that book, I realized, oh my gosh, there are like one third of the population who are just like me.

00;06;32;07 – 00;07;02;25
Jill Chang
But I didn’t know because I don’t talk to people about my weakness. Right. And I don’t talk to people very often either. So I always feel like, okay, is my problem, I need to fix it. My life’s going to be in big trouble if I don’t fix myself before I’m 25 years old, you know? So the big message for me is like, it’s really she’s saying in the book that you’re not alone and you’re not worse, you’re just different.

00;07;03;03 – 00;07;24;17
Jill Chang
And I think that’s a huge support for me because from that on I realized that, yeah, I’m just different. I’m not going to judge myself anymore because based on the others criteria, just because I’m I’m different than them. So yeah, that was the turning point.

00;07;25;02 – 00;07;34;26
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s it’s not something to fix. It’s like we have great gifts, so we’re going to get into that. I’m just curious, do you remember how you happened to come across Susan Cain’s book?

00;07;36;06 – 00;07;53;27
Jill Chang
It was a big hit in Taiwan. I think it had one of the like top three bestsellers during that time. And when I saw the book Quiet, the title Quiet, I felt like, okay, it’s me. I guess.

00;07;55;00 – 00;07;56;26
David Hall
That’s great. So it kind of jumped out at you.

00;07;57;11 – 00;07;58;09
Jill Chang
Yeah. Yeah.

00;07;58;10 – 00;08;19;02
David Hall
Okay, that’s awesome. So let me just say again. So your book is Quiet as a Superpower, and the full title is The Secret Strengths of Introverts in the Workplace. And again, you give a lot of good examples in your book. And I also call them superpowers. You know, often on this show, what are maybe a superpower or two that you have?

00;08;19;09 – 00;08;24;15
David Hall
And maybe sometimes, you know, we’re not all exactly the same. So maybe a superpower that you’ve seen in others?

00;08;25;19 – 00;08;52;01
Jill Chang
Yeah, I think there are definitely many, many superpowers that we have, like being able to be quiet and listen. It’s a superpower itself. But if I had to name three, I would say being strategic. Strategic thinking and planning. The second is working and analyzing and then active listening as it’s our best superpowers.

00;08;52;27 – 00;09;17;07
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. And to me, what makes us introverts is that we are deep thinkers. You know, we go into our mind more often than not. And like you, that’s a gift. I value being able to think and be strategic, and we need to give ourselves some time for that or focus. When we’re talking about introversion, a lot of times it’s around our energy, which is very, very important.

00;09;17;21 – 00;09;34;16
David Hall
You know, we do need to take time to recharge, but beyond that, we also need to take time to think and give ourselves that focused time that you’re talking about. And so it’s not just about recharging. It’s like, okay, I need some time to be strategic. I need some time to get some work done right. I need some time to dream.

00;09;34;25 – 00;09;47;04
David Hall
And sometimes it’s just time to have some fun just because we might enjoy that time alone. And of course, on this show we bust the myth that we do need people. We do like people, but we do need some time alone, too.

00;09;48;02 – 00;10;17;10
Jill Chang
Definitely. Definitely. Yeah, that’s actually one of the challenges that I had growing up, because I always envy people who are very fast in responding and making connections very quickly. And I was always like, Oh my gosh, how do I do that? How how would they even do that? And so for me, like gathering information and processing all those information and think deeply really takes time.

00;10;17;15 – 00;10;42;22
Jill Chang
And it took me a while to realize that that’s the thing that I need to do instead of like trying to push myself to make quick decisions or to move faster. I now rather would prefer that I prepare myself a period of time, of really thinking and really preparing just to make sure the things I want to do can be done in the right way, in a proper way.

00;10;43;03 – 00;10;50;11
Jill Chang
So yeah, I think why you brought it’s like super helpful. And that was definitely one of the challenges that I had in early in my career.

00;10;51;05 – 00;11;22;29
David Hall
Yeah. If you don’t realize that, if you don’t realize your gift is thinking and often you need to take time to do it, it can make you feel different or strange. And I was much like you. It’s like, all right, especially early on, like, why is that person so comfortable in these situations? And I’m not. But the good news is we can learn to be comfortable in those situations, but understand, you know what, I’m mostly going to think before I speak, you know, not always, but mostly.

00;11;23;07 – 00;11;30;07
David Hall
And sometimes it’s like, hey, I just need a minute to think about that. There’s lots of strategies that we can use around that, right?

00;11;30;14 – 00;11;31;27
Jill Chang
Exactly. Exactly.

00;11;32;19 – 00;11;37;24
David Hall
So how would you say that you’ve gained confidence as an introvert?

00;11;38;24 – 00;12;04;06
Jill Chang
Yeah, I think growing up in in growing up as an introvert, we are so used to not meeting social expectations because we’re too quiet, too slow. And a lot of times we always hear is that why don’t do do something about why aren’t you like that? So it’s for me, it’s very normal that we don’t we have less confidence or even lower self-esteem.

00;12;05;13 – 00;12;39;03
Jill Chang
Like for for example, I have readers across the world and they are super cool people, they are professional referees for the Wimbledon are multi national entrepreneurs. They are high ranking military officials. Oh, those are like super cool people. But they don’t think they’re cool. And that’s where I noticed like, oh, it’s not just me. I think people tend to think the others or especially introverts, tend to think the others are cooler.

00;12;39;16 – 00;13;07;08
Jill Chang
So for people like this, my advice is try very hard to look at what you have, but not what you lack, and try to be strategic with what you have and don’t over compare. So this may not be very easy in the beginning because we tend to think that we’re nothing and you want to be someone else. But if you think carefully, you would notice some so many chains that are hidden gems.

00;13;07;29 – 00;13;31;29
Jill Chang
So I actually have an example. So I know a politician who gives public speeche’s all the time and can literally make friends with anyone in the world within 30 seconds, no matter if it’s a CEO or a vendor. He’s so good at it and I envy him so much. But there was one day I wrote an article about an issue that we both care about.

00;13;32;17 – 00;14;04;22
Jill Chang
He read my article and asked how long did it take you to complete this? And my response was like, Oh, maybe, maybe an hour or two. And he was so surprised. He looked at me and said, Even if you give me ten years, I wouldn’t be able to write like you. And that really helped me to think differently, because maybe things that we take for granted is actually someone else’s dream.

00;14;04;22 – 00;14;25;15
Jill Chang
Even though we envy those people. So I think for those who don’t have as much confidence or who have lower esteem, I totally understand. I’ve been there, done that. And I also would encourage you to really look at your strength rather than your witness.

00;14;26;11 – 00;14;47;07
David Hall
Yeah, well said. That’s a great story that you gave because, you know, you’re seeing him able to connect easily, but you really have a gift for writing. And, you know, maybe it’s even sometimes where people can partner up, you know, where somebody might have that connection ability and someone has the writing ability and maybe, you know, working together could be a great thing.

00;14;47;13 – 00;15;09;17
David Hall
But we all have our strengths. And again, that’s what this show is about. It’s like, what are your strengths? What are your needs, and what are some strategies for success which your book definitely goes into. And then the other thing that we always do is we bust myths here. So what’s a myth or two about introversion that you want to dispel?

00;15;10;24 – 00;15;39;01
Jill Chang
Yeah, I think the first one is definitely introverts are lone wolves. And not team players. And the second one is that introverts are less ambitious, less aggressive and less proactive. Yeah, let’s start with the first one. I think a lot of time we think introverts are lone wolves because we don’t like to be the center of attention. So for example, during meetings we’re always sitting there quietly or sitting in the corner and not speaking too much.

00;15;39;13 – 00;16;20;15
Jill Chang
So people will think that, okay, you don’t want to be part of the team? But based on research that I’ve found 50% of the C Suite are introverts. So it’s actually a very good evidence that introverts are team players and even a good team leader. So I feel like the fact that we don’t talk much is that because we’re absorbing all the information, especially during meetings or during discussions, and there are things that we can contribute in other forms.

00;16;20;24 – 00;16;28;17
Jill Chang
So I think that’s the one thing that that’s the first myth that I would like to dispel.

00;16;29;14 – 00;16;29;24
David Hall
Okay.

00;16;30;16 – 00;16;58;17
Jill Chang
And the second one of introverts being less ambitious and proactive, I think it also goes back to how we work and how we think because we’re deep thinkers. We spend time gathering information processes, minimize risk and plan the best strategy. And it really takes a longer time. So people would think, oh, you’re hesitant or you’re not paying attention or you don’t want to do it, but it’s actually totally opposite.

00;16;58;23 – 00;17;24;15
Jill Chang
We’re spending the time because we want to do it and we want to make sure it works. So a lot of times I don’t think introverts are less ambitious or less proactive or less aggressive. I just feel like it’s just we have our own ways to really turn our ambitions or or plans into reality. And it takes time for us to make things happen.

00;17;24;23 – 00;17;28;16
Jill Chang
But that doesn’t mean that we’re not doing anything to make it happen.

00;17;29;05 – 00;17;45;25
David Hall
Right. And I think you’re a great example of that. So you do work in a team that spans over 20 countries. Your book is being published in six countries and you give talks all around the world. So have you found that there’s a cultural aspect to introversion?

00;17;47;01 – 00;18;13;12
Jill Chang
Yes, definitely, yes. I notice in some cultures, in some countries, it’s more okay to be quiet, such as in eastern Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan. I’ll give my personal experience. For example, I was born and raised in Taiwan, so when I went to school there was never a session that we need to do any of group discussions in class, zero.

00;18;13;26 – 00;18;37;17
Jill Chang
So all we did was listening to lectures and take notes by ourselves. So the biggest challenge when I went to the U.S. for a master’s degree is that the professors, the greater the US, based on the frequency of us raising our hand and asking questions or sharing feedback. And we were always asked to do a presentation or group discussions all the time.

00;18;38;06 – 00;19;09;12
Jill Chang
So that was very different. And even today, I also noticed that TV commercials are in very interesting examples too, for instance. So when companies try to sell drinks to the general public for U.S. companies, you would notice that, oh, a lot of the commercials emphasize more on the activeness, such as giving an amazing presentation and or performing excellently in sports or even the soccer mom driving the kids around with a big smile on her face.

00;19;09;29 – 00;19;49;25
Jill Chang
Whereas in Eastern Asia, even, it’s a drink that was very high in caffeine. The commercials are the commercials usually tend to be so much quieter and common. So you would see a person reflecting, enjoying the breeze or even meditating in the commercial. So I think that’s very different from the feedback I receive from different countries. I believe there there’s a there’s a cultural aspect in introversion and such a cultural difference is surprisingly impactful on people with multiple cultural backgrounds.

00;19;49;25 – 00;20;02;03
Jill Chang
Such as Asian-Americans or expats, where they come from a kind of culture but need to live in a different culture so it’s definitely something for me to adjust.

00;20;02;29 – 00;20;15;29
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah. So sometimes, you know, in the US, definitely, probably the introverts struggle a little more. So would you say in parts of the world that extroverts might struggle a little bit more?

00;20;15;29 – 00;20;54;24
Jill Chang
I would guess so. But from my experience, for example, that the countries that I mentioned, Japan and Taiwan, from what I understand, especially in the workplace, it’s very westernized. So people expect employee or team members to be more extroverted and more expressive too. So yeah, growing up like as a kid or as a teenager, maybe it’s not that tough, but after graduation, after you enter the workplace, it’s I think the criteria is very similar with it as Western cultures.

00;20;54;24 – 00;21;17;08
David Hall
Yeah, I remember the participation points like in college too, and I struggled with that. One thing I learned was preparation is key. That’s a big topic that we’ll talk about today. But preparation was really key for me because if I didn’t prepare, I wasn’t going to be able to participate fully. So, you know, your book is definitely all about the workplace.

00;21;17;18 – 00;21;26;07
David Hall
How do we prepare for meetings and presentation so that we make sure that our voice and our great thoughts and ideas are heard as introverts?

00;21;27;00 – 00;21;52;04
Jill Chang
And I think for me, presentations are a lot easier because it’s a highly controllable scenario. Unless someone interrupts you, you definitely have full control until the Q&A section. And I think the key to a successful presentation is, like you said, preparation. And this is happening. This happens to be what introverts are great about. So we we can gather information.

00;21;52;04 – 00;22;12;21
Jill Chang
Now we are talking to put yourself in their shoes and think what might interest them or what might be the information they need. And then do whatever you can to prepare and practice. You can do several rounds of dry runs, get feedback and edit. So for me, I think 90% of the work should be done before you getting on the stage.

00;22;12;21 – 00;22;36;07
Jill Chang
And on the other hand, that’s a very good thing for introverts because you’re already 90 out of 100 even before you start talking. So giving  a presentation is definitely something that can be practices. Meetings are sometimes a little bit trickier because they are less structured and you need to find your own way to really express yourself.

00;22;37;03 – 00;23;07;09
Jill Chang
For introverts, it’s not very easy because it usually takes a longer time for us to digest information, to process them and share feedback. And with that, I encourage introverts to prepare more in advance and follow up more afterwards. So for example, before meetings you can as part of the preparation, you can ask for the agenda, you can get information of who will be there and think about your role in that meeting.

00;23;07;18 – 00;23;33;29
Jill Chang
Are you there to listen? Are you there to present your boss? Are you there trying to negotiate something on behalf of your department and what are your objectives? So just keep those objects objectives in mind would be helpful in reaching your goal during the meeting and also after the meetings. Usually people turn to other tasks without carefully following up.

00;23;34;04 – 00;24;08;17
Jill Chang
So this is the time that you can show that you care. For example, creating the follow up list, you work with others to make sure that action items are available to the team and make sure people are on the same page. So I think for for meetings, especially if you’re not super comfortable in talking or contributing during the meeting, I think before the meeting and after meetings are actually a good opportunity for introverts to take advantage of and to to show that we are there to contribute to it.

00;24;09;18 – 00;24;33;06
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. And so if there is an agenda, definitely ask for one, you know, so you can put your thoughts together and say, is there something I need to research further? Or I’ll make myself some notes, like what questions do I have? And also what point do I really want to make and put it on the agenda for myself, you know, kind of thing?

00;24;34;02 – 00;25;00;09
Jill Chang
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. That that’s actually one of my steps to that really helps me to stay focused in the meeting because, you know, in the meeting there are always a lot of people talking at the same time and people get distracted all the time and for interest because we need to stay focused in having those agenda. Your own agenda, putting down helps us to stay focused without being distracted by the other’s opinions.

00;25;00;09 – 00;25;18;25
David Hall
Yeah. And you know, it’s really important to remember that you do have something to contribute. You do need to have your voice heard and you know, as we’ve been talking about, sometimes you’re going to notice things that somebody else doesn’t notice. You’re going to have an idea that no one thought about because you’ve given it a lot of thought.

00;25;18;25 – 00;25;21;12
David Hall
So it’s really important that our voices are heard.

00;25;22;02 – 00;25;23;23
Jill Chang
Yeah, totally agree. Totally agree.

00;25;24;25 – 00;25;34;12
David Hall
So as we said in the bio, you’ve given a lot of public speeches. What are some keys to successful public speaking as an introvert.

00;25;34;12 – 00;25;37;27
Jill Chang
I’m going to be very honest. I still get very nervous.

00;25;39;29 – 00;26;11;29
Jill Chang
So but I feel like with all that nervous and all that tension that I have, I somehow find a way to still complete public speaking successfully. And I think there are three tips. One is that I would try to minimize the surprises I’ll have. So I, I would ask for, for example, photos of the place and I would ask information about the audience.

00;26;11;29 – 00;26;39;10
Jill Chang
So I feel like, okay, I, I can imagine that I’m in that venue and talking to people that I already know. So this is my way of minimizing the surprises. And the second is that I would save my energy by not socializing before the public speaking because a lot of times before you speak, people would come and exchange cards, you know, they would chat with you.

00;26;39;18 – 00;27;15;11
Jill Chang
And for me, all of those interactions are a little bit draining, and that didn’t help me to focus on my upcoming presentation. So I would try very hard to avoid that and I could do all those after I speak. And then the third I think is by establishing a routine for myself, for me usually starts with going to the bathroom, like looking at the mirror and say, okay, you can do this, you’ve done this before, and this time you can also do this, you know, saying things like that.

00;27;15;11 – 00;27;47;13
Jill Chang
And I have my own routines of like I have like how do I have the laser pointer? How do I wear, how do I do my makeup, you know, stuff like that, just to make sure that I’m in my comfort zone and I can really concentrate on the presentation. I’m going to guess and, and like I said, after, if there are any opportunities, especially business development, development opportunities, I will do everything after I speak.

00;27;47;13 – 00;28;00;02
Jill Chang
And I will try to I will try to do it to try to do them one on one, one on one follow ups or one on one chats, just to make sure that I’m not drained doing anything else.

00;28;01;27 – 00;28;28;08
David Hall
Very good tips. So the first one is get rid of the unfamiliar as much as you can, because that, I think can give us a lot of anxiety as especially as introverts, where we’re in a new situation and that can cause us a lot of anxiety. So see what the room looks like. Or if you can’t go there ahead of time, have pictures sent, that that kind of thing, just get familiar, you know, look up information online ahead of time.

00;28;28;14 – 00;28;49;03
David Hall
That’s really powerful. And then that before maybe you just have to tell people, hey, I’ll interact with people mostly after it, just make your needs known and I know that’s important for me. You know, it’s I need to get in the right space. So, Jill, I’ve been looking forward to this podcast. I’ve been looking forward to talking with you, but guess what?

00;28;49;03 – 00;29;07;19
David Hall
About an hour before, I’m just getting in the right frame of mind, you know, I’m not doing a lot of other things. So I’m thinking about, you know, our great conversation. But that’s important. And it’s important to share that with other people. You know, it’s like, come on stage and, you know, before that I’m not going to be available so much, but afterward.

00;29;07;21 – 00;29;25;20
David Hall
And then you also brought up, where do you thrive in? A lot of us do thrive in the one on one. And if we can find out what the best thing for us is, we can do good in a big environment. But one on one, or maybe even small groups is where we often have the most success.

00;29;26;21 – 00;30;09;11
Jill Chang
Yeah, definitely, definitely. And I think a lot of times we are not, how do I put it? We’re not brave enough to make our needs known because we we always put the others above ourselves like oh would it be like impolite to say that. Hurting somebody is hard if I don’t talk to them. You know, it always comes through my mind and then I feel like and I realize after like so many public speeches, I, I, I think I am confident to say now that people, they don’t care that much.

00;30;09;24 – 00;30;48;15
Jill Chang
So I care more about their feelings than they do. So a lot of times it’s just us over thinking about their like potentially negative reactions. But the truth is they don’t they don’t care that much. So yeah, I totally echo your perspective our of our really make ourselves look needs known to everyone and make sure that we have the opportunity to express ourselves and for people to have the opportunity to know what works best for you and for everyone.

00;30;49;29 – 00;31;12;20
David Hall
And part of it is everybody doesn’t need what we need. And so that’s why we have to let people know, because some people are going to just totally work the room before the speech and that works for them. You know, I had a guest on Richard Newman that wrote You Are Born to Speak. And one of his strategies, because he needed the same thing like you and I do or some time before the speech.

00;31;13;00 – 00;31;23;23
David Hall
And he said he’d bring someone, an extroverted person from his company and they would kind of take on that. And I thought that was really good advice. But again, it’s knowing, having some strategies, knowing what works for you.

00;31;24;07 – 00;31;27;00
Jill Chang
Yes. Yes. Well, I’ll take that. Thanks.

00;31;28;12 – 00;31;43;08
David Hall
Yeah. So you write a lot in your book about leadership as an introvert. And again, that’s another myth. Introverts can be amazing leaders. We just need to get to know ourselves and like we’re talking about what we need. So how can an introvert be an effective leader.

00;31;44;07 – 00;32;18;02
Jill Chang
And I think first introverted leaders are very focused. A lot of the extroverted leaders tend to have S.O.S. or a shiny object syndrome, which they tend to tease new objects because they seem more interesting while introverted leaders, they focus for a longer term. So I think that’s one of the advantage. And the second is that introverts tend to put the team before themselves because we don’t like to be in their center of attention.

00;32;18;02 – 00;32;49;25
Jill Chang
So introverted leaders tend to give more credit and space to the team members. And I think that’s critical for for any leader in general. And the less I think active listening and strategic thinking, these are trends of introverts. And with that information gathered from active listening, introverted leaders can ask questions like, why are we doing this? Or Better support you?

00;32;50;09 – 00;32;56;29
Jill Chang
And I think these would help introverts to become good leaders and more effective leaders.

00;32;57;25 – 00;33;17;13
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. I really like in the book how you bring up that we need introverts and extroverts in our teams, right? You know, as introverts, we don’t just want to work with other introverts. How can you help introverts and extroverts work on a team and understand and support each other’s strengths and needs like we’re talking about?

00;33;19;01 – 00;33;41;22
Jill Chang
I think the first thing to do is really to understand how to make the best use of each team player, how how to best communicate with them and how to award them because it’s very it varies individual by individual. And at the same time, I think creating an environment that meets the needs for anyone in this spectrum is very important.

00;33;41;22 – 00;34;09;17
Jill Chang
For example, I think, yeah, for example, leaders can ask or managers can just discuss expectations, but transparency, for example, when you talk to your team member, you can say transparently like this role requires going to a networking events. How many times a month do you think it’s okay for you? So try to create that space for discussion and show that you care with transparency.

00;34;09;17 – 00;35;08;29
Jill Chang
I think that that’s a good, good start to create a friendly environment. And the second, I think having the flexibility is very important because for introverts we like to stay focused and work alone without being dispersed by a meeting, without being distracted by meetings or our resources. So on other sorts of distractions, what I would suggest is that, for example, if in an office I can set the meetings in in the afternoon so that or the meetings are only in the morning so the introverts can have 50% of the day quiet without disturbed and doing their own things.

00;35;09;25 – 00;35;37;19
Jill Chang
And then extroverts can have that kind of interaction and discussion during the other half of the day. I think that would be helpful to introverts, both introverts and extroverts. And then lastly, I think it would be very helpful to use technology to increase people to contribute based on our research is there are over six people in the meeting, 60% of the talking will be made by only two people.

00;35;38;02 – 00;36;11;19
Jill Chang
So with that, I think it’s very important to include all your team members to express what they think. But sometimes it’s not very easy for introverts as as you know. So for example, you can use Post-its during meetings or using shared documents before meetings to make sure that each team members, they have a way to express themselves rather than having to really standing up and speaking up.

00;36;11;19 – 00;36;26;13
David Hall
Wow. I relate to that statistic. I haven’t seen that research, but I’ve experienced it where you’re saying that there is a couple of people that tend to dominate and we do need to figure out ways so that everybody’s voice is heard for sure.

00;36;28;01 – 00;36;28;10
Jill Chang
Yeah.

00;36;29;05 – 00;36;57;15
David Hall
So you’ve been working remotely for quite some time, leading that international team before the pandemic? I started working remotely for the pandemic and that was my first time. There was definitely things I enjoyed, but there was also some things that maybe were some misconceptions about introversion. And, you know, everybody, all introverts are just going to love working remotely, you know, what are some things to think about?

00;36;58;00 – 00;37;19;16
David Hall
There’s definitely going to be people that are going to continue to work remotely, but also there’s a lot of hybrid. Like I’m in a hybrid environment where I’m going into the office a couple of days a week and working from home. So what are some things for introverts to think about as maybe they’re continuing to work remotely or maybe they’re now in a hybrid environment?

00;37;19;16 – 00;37;48;26
Jill Chang
I think it’s most especially for introverts. It’s mostly about managing our energy. And also think about your career plan and. I know some companies or some industries are they they highly encourage people to go back to the office. So if you’re in those companies or industries, the price of choosing working remotely is higher than the others. So just consider what works best for you.

00;37;48;26 – 00;38;10;11
Jill Chang
I’ve been remote working for many years and this is my comfort zone. I feel like I work more efficiently. I’ve found a way to balance my working life and I really enjoy the flexibility. But also like you David, I also felt some negative impacts, for example, of my physical activity level dropped significantly after work.

00;38;10;11 – 00;38;12;13
David Hall
Yes, yes, I relate to that.

00;38;13;09 – 00;39;04;26
Jill Chang
Right. And then also, I don’t have enough in-person interactions or interactions with people, so they tend that sometimes I feel like, oh my gosh, I couldn’t talk as I used to. It’s like my brain is getting slower, my mouth is getting smaller. So and then I started to reflect, okay, maybe I enjoy remote working, but I really need some improvements in like adding more physical activities into my daily life and having like strategically planning things for me to have this in-person interactions, whether it’s with friends with a client or with family, I need to really see people in person and talk to them in person.

00;39;05;07 – 00;39;33;19
Jill Chang
So I think you brought up a great misconception that introverts are all suitable for remote working. It’s really not the case. We need interactions as well and we need interaction with the world too and the level differs from people to people. So I feel like it’s more about really thinking what you need and what what makes what works the best for you.

00;39;34;03 – 00;39;49;14
Jill Chang
And I think during COVID we’ve all work remotely to some extent. So I think we all know a little bit of what it’s like and it’s really helpful to make careful and find out what works the best for you.

00;39;50;02 – 00;40;15;26
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. When I first started working remotely, my wife has always worked remotely and then I have three kids and then all of a sudden all five of us are home all the time. We’re definitely invading my wife’s space where she’s working remotely. I have a couple of kids that are now in online school that aren’t really happy with it, and so it wasn’t a really good way to judge, do I like this work?

00;40;15;26 – 00;40;36;16
David Hall
Because at my office I have a door I can close here at home I’m in this open office environment. So and the other thing was I kind of missed the spontaneous conversations that occurred, you know, like maybe you’re walking to a meeting or from a meeting, or you just need to ask a quick question. You just pop over somewhere.

00;40;36;26 – 00;40;59;27
David Hall
And, you know, what I found over the pandemic is a lot of times it’s more planned. It’s like you just want to just run an idea by someone and they’re like, All right, we’ll set up a time and you’re like, Oh, I just want to call you, you know? So so there’s there’s some definite drawbacks. But I also know there were some very lonely introverts that were working from home and really did need that people interaction and you got to figure that that that out.

00;41;00;15 – 00;41;27;12
Jill Chang
Yes definitely definitely. Yeah. So I think what  you just proposed maybe be like having a hybrid working environment or a you can have the flexibility to set your own working plans would be really helpful. But before that I think it’s really important for us to really sit down, take a moment and see what works best for us, what works and what doesn’t work for us.

00;41;27;24 – 00;41;54;04
Jill Chang
And even like for me, I’ve been remote working and we don’t offer in-person office work environments. So this is my only option. I like it, but I literally don’t have any other options. So even if I missed the spontaneous  conversations, I couldn’t. But what can I do to make it happen? I think that’s the growth mindset that we all need to have.

00;41;54;04 – 00;42;06;27
Jill Chang
Like if I’m stuck with the only option I have for now, what can be done to make my life better? To make things work better? I think that’s that’s something that we can always think about.

00;42;07;03 – 00;42;10;18
David Hall
Yeah. Because in your case, your team spread out over several countries. Right?

00;42;11;04 – 00;42;11;15
Jill Chang
Right.

00;42;11;17 – 00;42;30;22
David Hall
And so, like with me, I had a presentation that I could have joined remotely. But, you know, for me, my work is is you know, it’s striving distance because that’s how it always used to be. And I had a choice and, you know, I chose to go in person. But like you’re saying, you know, for most of the time that’s not a case because your team members are all spread out.

00;42;30;22 – 00;42;43;29
David Hall
And so it’s you need to figure out and maybe like you’re saying, maybe it is that you’re getting more personal interactions outside of work and just need to figure all that out. Like what’s the best with the situation that you have?

00;42;45;00 – 00;42;45;22
Jill Chang
Exactly.

00;42;46;27 – 00;43;01;17
David Hall
So as we’re talking about work, another thing in your book there was you wrote a little story that you you were responding to a social media post where basically it was something like what’s the best jobs for introverts or something along those lines. And just what was your response to that.

00;43;02;18 – 00;43;34;29
Jill Chang
For people’s background information, I manage a Facebook group and also a LinkedIn group where introverts get together and share experience and it is actually one of the most frequently asked question What is the best job for introverts? And I think a lot of people get confusion when they, especially for young professionals. And recently we’ve noticed that even for people who’ve been working for ten, 15 years, they they’re also confused too, like, oh, this job isn’t for me.

00;43;35;08 – 00;44;10;21
Jill Chang
Is there a perfect job for introverts? I’m going to try that. And my answer is always, as long as you care about it, you can turn any job into the best job in the world, especially for insurance. Because introverts energies come from within. So if you care about it from within, it’s not about like the title or the pay or the recognition that it would save, but it’s more about what you really care about is a consistent with your philosophy of life.

00;44;10;21 – 00;44;43;26
Jill Chang
Is it consistent? Is it consistent with your personal beliefs? And I think those factors are really especially important for introverts, because if we found the drive from within, that’s where our energies come from. So I wouldn’t say there’s any type of job that are the best or the worst for insurance. It’s basically up to each of you like what’s best for me isn’t necessarily the best for you, right?

00;44;44;07 – 00;44;59;10
Jill Chang
So I think to begin with, I think having like taking the time to dig within and to really find out what you care about, that’s that’s very important, I think, especially for insurance.

00;44;59;20 – 00;45;11;13
David Hall
Yeah, that’s good advice. And I get the question a lot too. And it’s really I think most jobs could be done by an introvert or extrovert, but their approach might be different.

00;45;12;03 – 00;45;12;08
Jill Chang
Like.

00;45;12;22 – 00;45;23;17
David Hall
Like sales is a big oh, introverts can’t do sales. Well, I actually don’t want to do sales, but if I did, I could be very successful. But it would look different from an extroverted salesperson, you know?

00;45;23;25 – 00;45;56;09
Jill Chang
Exactly. Yes, yes, exactly. I think as an introvert, we all need to have the mindset of make twisting things a little bit to make it work for us. And like you say, sales are the most probably one of the most challenging areas for introverts to step in. But I, I encountered like a tons of people who are very successful, even like top sales in their companies and they’re all introverts.

00;45;56;09 – 00;46;22;00
Jill Chang
They came to my speech and they said, Oh, thanks to your book. And actually, I’m an introvert, but I’m top in sales. I wanted I want you to share my stories with my fellow introverts. And I was I was very surprised because I know I as an introvert, I never thought myself in sells or any position in sales. But people like me, they did it and they want me to share their stories.

00;46;22;00 – 00;46;41;18
Jill Chang
So I think that’s going back to what you said. It’s more about finding your way to make things happen, like no matter what industry or what position you’re in, there’s always a way for us introverts to make things happen. It may look very different, but that’s our way.

00;46;42;00 – 00;46;47;27
David Hall
Yeah, yeah. And it’s, it’s a good way. It’s that we can come up with our own brilliance that way.

00;46;47;27 – 00;46;48;07
Jill Chang
Yes.

00;46;48;24 – 00;46;55;20
David Hall
So, Jill, as introverted leader, how do you find your quiet time for me?

00;46;55;20 – 00;47;22;21
Jill Chang
I try to do a 30 to 60 minutes of morning yoga every day. That’s one of my quiet time. And also books are always my best shelter. I would grab a book wherever I go and whenever I find like five, 10 minutes, I would just start reading. And from the moment I started reading, I feel like I’m in a different world and.

00;47;22;21 – 00;47;30;00
Jill Chang
I think that’s the best thing about reading. So yeah, yoga and reading are definitely my, my quiet zones.

00;47;30;19 – 00;47;40;02
David Hall
Very good, very good. Oh, wow. We’ve talked about so many great things in your book is so full of great tips. Is there anything else that you would like to add that we didn’t talk about?

00;47;40;22 – 00;48;08;08
Jill Chang
I think I would like to welcome people to join my LinkedIn group. It’s called The Introvert Cafe, where we have people from different countries, introverts from different countries in that group, and we share professional workplace challenges and tips and people can connect and share experience. So I think that’s a good place for people to just to hang out.

00;48;09;06 – 00;48;11;16
David Hall
Very cool. And I will put that in the show notes as well.

00;48;12;14 – 00;48;13;00
Jill Chang
Thank you.

00;48;13;16 – 00;48;17;10
David Hall
I highly recommend Quiet as a Superpower. Where could people get your book?

00;48;18;04 – 00;48;45;13
Jill Chang
It’s online and if you want more information about me I have my website is in Jill dot com I and JLL dot com where you can find all the information about me. Yeah and I, I have work across different countries but the the website is in English, so. Yeah. So I think that’s the best place.

00;48;46;12 – 00;48;52;06
David Hall
Well, thanks again, Jill. This has been a wonderful conversation and quiet is a superpower.

00;48;52;06 – 00;48;55;21
Jill Chang
Thank you, David. Thank you so much for having me. And thank you for the pleasant talk.

00;48;56;23 – 00;49;22;05
David Hall
Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out to David@quietandstrong.com or check out the quietandstrong.com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media and other items that may be topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website.

00;49;22;25 – 00;49;45;23
David Hall
This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four letter Myers-Briggs code. All add a link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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