Many people out in the world have the potential to be professional guitarists, professional actors, professional dancers, the list goes on. Unfortunately for some people the natural talent still is subject to the crushing power and internal dialogue of the mind. The mind is our greatest asset and our greatest enemy. It sometimes acts like a magician, creating illusions and scenarios that may never happen in the real world. Sometimes it’s like a personal trainer, pushing you harder than you can ever go.
If you were in a band, would you be the front man, or the rhythm guitarist in the back? Some people just don’t want to use their talents and prefer to keep them as hobbies and just work in a job they fall into. Some people avoid uncomfortable situations and find an easy way out, they take jobs they are overqualified for and live in the world of comfort and happiness. Some people want success, they want to use their talents and fulfill their potential but they are held back by their own thoughts.
If you continue to avoid the scenarios that bring you distress and anxiety, it only gets worse as you worry everyday about something that hasn’t even happened.
Some people in the corporate world are impacted by this as well. Afraid of public speaking, meetings or social interaction. Some people are even afraid to talk on the phone.
The work from home scenario has changed the dynamic for me and maybe many other introverts. Some of the triggers have not been avoided but they have been shifted. If you don’t like speaking in public, you still have to but now it is in the comfort of your own home. Will this lead to introverts’ hidden talents such as leadership skills, conflict management and negotiation skills start to flourish now that they are in the comfortable cocoon of a home office? No longer are they controlled by the physical flight and fight response when standing in front of management and colleagues, exposing themselves to gazing eyes and our internal thoughts of “Am I good enough?”, “Am I speaking too fast?” or “Do I look like an idiot?”.
Will you or your fellow introverted co workers start to reveal their full potential during the new work from home paradigm? Have you already noticed some usually quiet people starting to speak up?
With this new found confidence, and practice of Zoom calls and Google Meets when we return to the office will the introverts now rise? Will they become what they always were so afraid of becoming? I think yes, because practice makes perfect. When you have a presentation or a meeting, you get prepared, you practice so what better way to practice than from home and live on the internet!
Technology has opened up new ways to communicate, I spend most of my days either on a video chat or a chat room talking, troubleshooting and fixing issues all across the world. I speak with senior leadership, vendors, colleagues, customers all from a simple chat room or video call. Five years ago, I avoided going into a meeting room with so many people. I would look for ways out, or just pray they didn’t ask me to speak out aloud.
The people I speak with daily now have no idea how tall I am, they have know idea how wide I am (LOL) they don’t judge me by what I look like, what I wear or how I stand they judge me but what I say and do. They judge me by my content and that is all an introvert wants. They don’t want to be put up in front of everyone like a statue to admire, they just want to contribute and be the quiet achiever.
Granted some people like the sink or swim approach, but with mental health at the forefront we need to find the triggers and ask each of our employees, if they are willing to share, what they can and cannot do. We then guide them, teach them and help nurture their talents in a safe environment. Not everyone has the stomach for this manufactured and down right unnatural environment we call the corporate world.
In this work from home world, the introverts will rise. Now they can achieve their potential, in a safe environment equipped with the confidence of experience when we finally return face to face.
Last but not least, this is usually a technical blog so if you are working on SDWAN and using Internet transports, make sure your ISP is giving you the best possible path internationally to avoid latency and packet loss. Australia to Japan via the US ain’t the best path :-).
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