All of us have to decide how and when to use our power to be effective. Women, especially, have to be conscious of where our power comes from and how we use it. Oftentimes, the public story around women’s power is that we can’t win – if we use our power, we are seen as too bossy or pushy, and if we don’t use our power, we are seen as too passive and quiet.
I recently read an article at Quiet Revolution. In this article, Heidi Kasevich suggests that introverted women can be “quiet role models.” Kasevich writes:
What are the key strengths of these quiet leaders? First, introverts tend to think before they speak. They are likely to be contemplative, mild-mannered, and cautious decision-makers. According to Wharton psychologist’s [sic] Adam Grant’s research, taking time to carefully weigh options and not rush a decision can benefit all members of a team and lead to better, more creative outcomes. Second, introverts tend to be excellent problem-solvers and deep thinkers. They have incredible abilities of focus and concentration, coupled with a desire to master complicated tasks through hours of deliberate practice.
As an extremely introverted female, the paragraph above resonates with me. I have come to see these qualities in myself as some of my “superpowers.” The key has been to learn how to use this power strategically and effectively. It can be so easy to be frustrated and overwhelmed in chaotic situations or poorly run meetings. At the same time, we quiet ones can often see the path forward while others are busy talking over our heads.