Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Powerful Communication for Introverts

After thinking a lot about what I posted yesterday, about what powerful communication looks like in an organization, I kept getting this image of a super pushy person. I don't accept that is the only model for flexing power in an organizational context. Quiet people, or those of use who are not super talkative, do not face a future of permanent subordination.

The main requirement to exude power in a situation is confidence. That comes from experience, doing your homework, knowing yourself, and knowing that any criticism to your idea or proposal is not a personal attack. If you go into a situation knowing you've prepared as well as you could given the constraints, there is no reason not to be confident. And confidence, maybe even more so the quiet kind, gives a powerful message to others.

It's not that your plan is absolutely bullet-proof, although it may well be. But you know it is a sound idea, an appropriate solution, and that someone may actually have a suggestion to make it even better, or more socially acceptable. It's also possible that a member of your audience doesn't quite get it, but with quiet confidence, you explain it again. There is no need to feel threatened.

It is said that attitude is 90% of communication. That means you don't have to be a flaming extrovert to get things done. After all, having power means getting things that you want. Be clear, not necessarily loquacious.