Gini Dietrich

Privacy and Autonomy for Introverts at Work

By: Gini Dietrich | January 24, 2012 | 
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Late last year, Lisa Petrilli published The Introvert’s Guide to Success.

It popped into my brain when I saw, “The Rise of the New Groupthink” in the New York Times last week.

Combine those two pieces of content and you may have actually heard me yell, “Hurrah!”

You see, I’m an introvert. And, until about two years ago, I thought there was something wrong with me (well, there is clearly something wrong with me, but it’s not because I’m an introvert).

I know, I know. When I say that people don’t believe me. 

It’s true, though.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you are shy or have no social skills. It means you get your energy from being alone while extroverts get their energy from being around people. Lots of people.

The New York Times article talks about the Groupthink phenomenon, which:

Holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.

That very idea makes my heart rate rise a little bit. Having no solitude at work? No. Thank you.

Case in point: If you’ve not yet read Steve Jobs, it is a must read. Yes, I know I just recommended you read more fiction, but this reads like a novel. Not only will you learn more about a leader who built one of the (if not the) most successful companies in the world by breaking all of the rules, you learn more about his introverted counterpart, Steve Wozniak.

Rewind to March 1975: Mr. Wozniak believes the world would be a better place if everyone had a user-friendly computer. This seems a distant dream — most computers are still the size of minivans, and many times as pricey. But Mr. Wozniak meets a simpatico band of engineers that call themselves the Homebrew Computer Club. The Homebrewers are excited about a primitive new machine called the Altair 8800. Mr. Wozniak is inspired, and immediately begins work on his own magical version of a computer. Three months later, he unveils his amazing creation for his friend, Steve Jobs. Mr. Wozniak wants to give his invention away free, but Mr. Jobs persuades him to co-found Apple Computer.

The story of Apple’s origin speaks to the power of collaboration. Mr. Wozniak wouldn’t have been catalyzed by the Altair but for the kindred spirits of Homebrew. And he’d never have started Apple without Mr. Jobs.

But it’s also a story of solo spirit. If you look at how Mr. Wozniak got the work done — the sheer hard work of creating something from nothing — he did it alone. Late at night, all by himself.

And yet…we are building collaboration and teamwork inside our organizations fit only for extroverts. The mega-churches are doing it. Schools are doing it. And businesses are doing it.

No matter what personality type you are, people are more productive and learn better when they have privacy and alone time.

As human beings, we all need to love and trust one another, but we crave privacy and autonomy. Organizations should cater both human needs by providing open and casual environments for discussion and brainstorms, but also provide nooks and crannies (if not separate offices or cubicles) where people can disappear to work and think.

As you go about your day-to-day work activities, think about both your introverted and extroverted colleagues. Discover ways for them to collaborate with one another that doesn’t favor one type over the other. And for the introverts like Woz, find ways to give them even more autonomy and privacy.

It’s not an easy task, but doing the hard work now will make everyone happier and more productive in the long-run.

This first appeared in my weekly Crain’s column.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • markwschaefer

    This is a very interesting observation and one I have been thinking a lot about. My fantasy (among many) is to do a correlation study between Klout scores and Meyers-Briggs scores to see if you are really correct here. When I hypothesize that the social web and online collaboration models favor extroverts, the introverts cry foul because they say it allows them to participate in their way without social pressure. It seems to have worked for you. : )

    Any way. Interesting thinking indeed and something that needs to be further explored. Thanks Gini!

    • ginidietrich

      @markwschaefer When clients ask us who they should put in charge of social efforts, we tend to recommend the introverted mid-level manager. They always do well because it gives them the social outlet all human beings need, without having to break the ice in person. Then, by the time they meet their friends in person, they already have a relationship and it becomes a less stressful situation. I’m not sure Klout scores have anything to do with your personality type…rather more about how you spend your time online.

      • @ginidietrich@markwschaefer I see this all the time. I’ve met quite a few local folks that I knew from Twitter first, and when you meet them, you’re shocked at how introverted they can be.

  • Very interesting. And I think I’ve experienced this in my own life. Yet I still haven’t figured out whether I’m an introvert or extrovert, because I have moments of both, But mostly an introvert, I think. I love being alone and working through things.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller If I had to guess, I’d say you’re an introvert.

      • @ginidietrich just leave me alone, ok?

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Do I even know you?

    • John_Trader1

      @KenMueller I, like Ken, have moments of being both an introvert and an extrovert. In my business culture I am in an environment that caters much more to extroverts but does offer an opportunity to stretch my creative legs and capture moments of introspect by exiting my office and using a first floor library. It doesn’t matter much that I have to leave the office to do this, but that I do have a place to go that isn’t far which I count myself fortunate to have.

      Good post Gini about striking the balance that so may of us desperately need but is often overlooked in the “Collaboration Age.” And Amazon can also thank you for me ordering the Jobs book after reading the post.

      • ginidietrich

        @John_Trader1 It’s SUCH a good book. You will really like it. You can read while you eat your cumin.

        • @ginidietrich@John_Trader1 LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jobs bio. Like, whoa.

        • ginidietrich

          @jasonkonopinski@John_Trader1 Good, right??

  • DemasiadaBella

    @ginidietrich @SpinSucks grt article. I’m an introvert but I always land the wrong positions for my personality. Its always a grp setting 🙁

    • ginidietrich

      @DemasiadaBella I would not do well if I had to sit in a group setting. My productivity would decrease dramatically.

      • DemasiadaBella

        @ginidietrich totally agree. I’ve had jobs where screaming questions across the floors acceptable, makes me cringe. Nd a job 4 introverts.

        • ginidietrich

          @DemasiadaBella OMG! That would hurt me. Oy.

  • jimstoltzfus

    Interesting topic, especially when I think about my kid who’s on the autism spectrum but is very functional. He’s the ultimate introvert and can do amazing things when focused, but I think sometimes about where he’ll fit into a workforce that’s increasingly collaborative. Then I remember that that’s many years away and relax and enjoy him being a kid.

    • ginidietrich

      @jimstoltzfus LOL! Yes…hopefully organizations will figure out how to cater to both personality types by the time he joins the workforce.

  • Was just reading through the Columbus Dispatch this morning and saw there is a new book release out called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. Sounds right up your alley.

    • ginidietrich

      @Anthony_Rodriguez I *think* she is the author mentioned in the NY Times article. I’ll have to go back and re-read it. It does sound right up my alley!

      • @ginidietrich Yeah I was just reading it too and saw that she is indeed the author of the NY Times article.

    • @Anthony_Rodriguez Maybe one of the best book titles I’ve seen in a while…

    • Vicki_Kunkel

      @Anthony_Rodriguez Oooooh. Thanks for sharing that. I just may have to get that book. 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        @Vicki_Kunkel Vicki! Hi!

  • ginidietrich

    @adamtoporek LOL

  • ginidietrich

    @investoralist LOL

    • investoralist

      @ginidietrich Jonathan Rauch’s piece on the subject is my go-to place for comfort.

      • ginidietrich

        @investoralist I don’t know that piece. Going to go look it up right now

  • You and I have talked a lot about this very topic, it seems. Introverts can have a knack for identifying their own. 😉

    It took me a few years to really recognize that I was, in fact, an introvert despite having an, um, fairly strong personality. Make no mistake; I love being social IRL but it wears me out. Quiet evenings at home are among the most restorative things in my life, especially after travel or some event. I’ve often quipped that the internet was created for people like us (and maybe it’s a bit cliched at this point), rather than the extroverts like @markwschaefer suggests.

    I love this article from the Atlantic on the subject: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski I think it’s funny people still think introverts are shy and have no social skills. I know PLENTY of extroverts without social skills. But you’re right. We can socialize and go to events and speak and do all of those things. But we need to get our batteries recharged by being alone. I can go about three days and then I’m dead.

      • @ginidietrich Aye. That was my stumbling block for a while. ‘How could I be an introvert when I’m such a chatty Kathy?’

      • ElissaFreeman

        I so get this. When people meet me, they think ‘extrovert’. Not really. Yes, I do well in group situations, present well etc…but to really think things out and get work DONE…I vant to be alone….

        • ginidietrich

          @ElissaFreeman Which makes you stuck up and snobby. 🙂

    • belllindsay

      @jasonkonopinski@markwschaefer@ginidietrich Nail. Meet head!! I am seriously introverted – but no one believes me either. And I also love having people to bounce ideas off of – I love bluesky’ing and brainstorming – but wow – do I *ever* need my alone time. I’m not a huge fan of large parties/events either (I know, right!? I guess I’m in the wrong field! lol) – if I were being honest, people in general tend to get on my last nerve! 😀 Except for you guys of course, and those I just innately click with. It’s such a bizarre headspace to be in at times – SM and introvert..ed…ness..? (is that a word?). This article couldn’t have come on a better day Gini – the perfect lightbulb moment for what’s been bugging me/getting me down this week. Thanks!

      • ginidietrich

        @belllindsay I could have guessed you are an introvert just by your tweets about going to bed to read. My friends have a really hard time with it, especially when we travel together. I’m ALWAYS the first one to go to bed because I need my alone time so much (well, that and I love to be up super early for exercise and writing).

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich HA! Also, the only reason I wake up at the ungodly time that I do is for the treasured “alone time”. Would rather give up sleep (or go to bed early to ‘read’) than go without it! Clearly, me and thee were meant to be travel pals! 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @belllindsay Me. Too. We’d be hilarious traveling together. Great food, great wine, and then bed to read.

        • @ginidietrich @belllindsay I’m crashing this party.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich HAHAHA! Somewhere warm – please!!! 🙂

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich Honestly – sounds like absolute *heaven* to me.

  • mantkowski

    While I can work well within a team environment when the project needs extra support, for the work that requires concentration, strategizing and a focus on the fine details, I need to hide away in a private area with peace and quiet – no distractions except the ones I prefer (e.g. music playing softly in the background). And yet, there is a trend in the marketing/advertising/PR world that is leaning towards open spaces and communal tables. Sometimes doing the trendy thing isn’t necessarily the right thing for all employees… and in the long run may result in them leaving for another opportunity with cubicles and individual offices.

    • ginidietrich

      @mantkowski We considered doing the communal table thing at Arment Dietrich. And then I realized I would end up despising everyone I worked with. So, instead, we created a communal table where we work together on occasion. But have our own private spaces, too. And…I’m with you – I like music in the background.

  • I don’t know, I think that there is a balance between the two that needs to be struck. I like being able to interact with people at work and find a lot of value in having trusted colleagues to bounce ideas off of.

    But there is something to be said for having a closed door and quiet to work in.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB Totally agree! I just don’t want to be around them all day, every day.

  • I’m loving this article. I’m an introvert as well, but I’d never really stopped to consider the angle you mention; I’ve always been shy and quiet, but in a “now that you mention it” moment, I’m seeing exactly what you mean about introverts needing to be alone.

    Sometimes I just need to disappear into my cave and think or get some tricky work done. I love having a “team room” where everyone is (because it’s easier to collaborate), but some days I have to move to our conference room or a desk in the back.

    Now the question becomes, what’s a good balance (for me and for every other person)? What are some ways that we can work collaboratively for the people who need it, and how can we designate some “quiet time” for people who need to be alone? Good food for thought, Gini, thank you for sharing!

    • ginidietrich

      @Amy Peveto I love that you have space where you can move to have time to think. The interesting thing about the NY Times article I mentioned in the blog post is that programmers are a great example of this (Wozniak, for instance). They tend to do their best work with their headphones on and in the zone. When I get up in the mornings, I put my headphones on and disappear into my writing for three or four hours (while everyone else is getting up and getting ready for work). It’s how I balance the two, but it definitely doesn’t work for everyone.

      • @ginidietrich Yea, programmers are definitely like that. As are designers, developers, writers, and every other kind of person I work with! 🙂 We’re all friendly and fun, but sometimes we just need to disappear for awhile.

        Headphones are a HUGE help, totally agree. Sometimes I just have them on even when I’m not listening to music.

        Takes all kinds, I suppose.

  • When people first meet me, I always get accused of being an introvert, because I tend to observe first and come across as ‘looking serious’. Then when these same people hear me present or speak, it kinda freaks them out, because I appear to be the biggest extrovert in the world.

    My point in saying this is that I definetely enjoy working alone at times, and doing my own thing. But at the same time, I love great communication with a large group of people. Like @TheJackB said, it’s nice to find a balance with both.

    Regardless, this article really made me think Gini, and I enjoyed it a bunch. Thanks!

    Marcus

    • ginidietrich

      @Marcus_Sheridan I would NEVER accuse you of being an introvert. Ever. And serious??! LOL!! In all seriousness, you have a huge personality, which people tend to mix with extrovert. Just because you can speak and be on doesn’t mean you don’t need alone time to recharge.

      • Byron Fernandez

        @ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan I can relate Marcus.

        I’ve been told the same about being more reserved when first meeting people, but it’s usually b/c I get lost in the experience/excitement of novelty. I do genuinely enjoy meeting people, but my tail doesn’t start to wag until further engagement and rapport’s built. It’s easier to sort of just read one another and feel each others’ energies out.

        As an artist and writer though, Gini’s right about the need for solidarity and introspect. That’s where we reach Flow, as Daniel Pink says.

        One thing I have noticed is people’s eyes. Something switches, that moment where they’re talking about something they love or are passionate about, and they’re all-in. Beautiful.

        “You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook making a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading. Wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-object Look” -WH Auden

  • ifdyperez

    I really like this piece. I didn’t know the diff between introverts and extroverts till I read your other post about it a while back, and totally identify with it. And yeah, the introverts do need their privacy… I know I like seclusion every once in a while. And so true that we can make good community managers because we get our socializing needs out of the way during the day, and are less awkward when we meet those we’ve built relationships with online. I’m incredibly awkward so it helps. Btw, I noticed I comment way too much on your blog. Am I an introverted stalker? Sigh.

    • ginidietrich

      @ifdyperez Um, there is no such thing as commenting too much here. So put that out of your head. But what I love most about it? When I finally meet you this summer, it will be as if old friends are getting together instead of meeting for the first time.

      • ifdyperez

        @ginidietrich I know! It’ll be awesome!!! And hopefully you’ll meet Carl.

        • ginidietrich

          @ifdyperez OMG! I would LOVE that!!

        • ifdyperez

          @ginidietrich Ooooh! And we can totally set up a shot with you and Carl if you’re game! 🙂

  • JohnDeereTara

    @ginidietrich sometimes the task at hand will impact how you go about solving it.

    • ginidietrich

      @JohnDeereTara What are you doing? I finished reading Steve Jobs. I think I’m on to Bossy Pants unless you have a different recommendation?

      • JohnDeereTara

        @ginidietrich Have you read Ready Player 1? It’s very nerdy and fun

        • ginidietrich

          @JohnDeereTara I have not! I’ll have to download it.

        • JohnDeereTara

          @ginidietrich It’s very nerdy but very fun in an 8bit video game way

        • ginidietrich

          @JohnDeereTara Fun! I’ll totally check it out.

        • JohnDeereTara

          @ginidietrich do you use Goodreads? I get lots of good book recommendations there

        • ginidietrich

          @JohnDeereTara I’m on Goodreads, but I rarely check it. 🙁

  • Vicki_Kunkel

    When I first read the NYT article, I practically did a cartwheel! I have always felt as if I work better and come up w/more creative ideas in solitude. That’s not to say I don’t want and need input from others; I just find it most productive when the members of the team all go off to their own little corners, come up with ideas, create their pieces, then we all convene as a group to review everyone’s work. I had just this setup while working on a major journo project that combined journalism, technology, interactivity, and 3D animation. There were several of us working on the project: writers, IT geeks, animation artists, and illustrators. We met to define the project, assign roles and responsibilities, and then we all went off to our own spaces to work alone for a two weeks, with no communication with any other members of the team. At the end of the two weeks we all came back and the resultant product was brilliant! The work of every single person was off-the-charts creative! I doubt we would have had those same results if we were all in the same office constantly chatting about the project.

    And thanks for your comment that introverts don’t have to be shy. For years, I considered myself an extrovert because I like to give presentations, like to be in the center of things, and am very vocal about my opinions. I could never understand, though, that when I needed to get some real creative work done, I did not like being around other people, but preferred to work alone in a completely quiet environment. I’m beginning to realize that I may be a closet introvert. LOL!

    • ginidietrich

      @Vicki_Kunkel I LOVE working that way! I have a big meeting on Friday where they’re expecting everyone to brainstorm and think. I asked if I could have review materials in advance because I know if they’re thrown at me in the meeting, I won’t have time to think and reflect and won’t be able to contribute in a meaningful way. It’s important to know you work this way so you can be most productive for others.

      • Vicki_Kunkel

        @ginidietrich I completely agree! I don’t mind spur-of-the-moment brainstorming sessions where things are just thrown out there, as long as there is a clear understanding that the brainstorming session is a jumping-off point for further discussions–and not the ultimate decision-making meeting. I had a brainstorming meeting a few weeks ago with a client, but they (properly) set the expectation that this was “just to throw a bunch of crap at the wall, then take our shovels and go back to our offices and see what, if anything, we keep.” After the brainstorming session, we were all told, “Okay. Now you get a flavor for what tone we are looking for. Go come up with something and report back to us.” It was the best of both worlds: The brainstorming session allowed me to hear what types of things the client liked and didn’t like, and then I could go off in my cave and think and create on my own.Good luck with your Friday meeting!

  • wagnerwrites

    Gini, after taking the Kiersey-Bates test several times, an HR specialist explained why I kept scoring on the border of introvert-extrovert. I’m a “socialized extrovert” – which is an introvert who has learned the skills of extroversion because this is so highly valued in American society. I can’t thank you enough for this post. We all read blogs to learn but sometimes it’s great to read a blog and see yourself reflected back in it. You also provide great advice about recognizing other styles.

    • ginidietrich

      @wagnerwrites Socialized extrovert makes total sense. And look at that – you taught me something today. Thank you!

  • This is what is wrong with Facebook! And Twitter. And all social networks. We need clearly the ability to mix public and private in an easily managed manner. Right now everything is clumsy. It is why we still use so much email and SMS texts vs moving that all to one platform.

    OK I just gave the secret out who wants to invest in my new start up the IntroExtro network?

    And yes for once Gini I agree with your post. I have worked at cube farms. I have had clients that had cube farms. And you can see when you enter those that are always standing outside the cubes and those that refuse to come out. We need better balance for workplace design and tools for collaboration.

    • belllindsay

      @HowieSPM “…who wants to invest in my new start up the IntroExtro network?” I’m in!! Canadian $$ strong right now! 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        @belllindsay@HowieSPM I’m in for investing! Where should I send my money?

  • Neicolec

    I think a balance is good. Sometimes I find it really valuable working in teams or meeting to spark ideas from discussion. However, most of the ideas I come up with on my own and, definitely, I’m more productive digging in alone to build things.

    I am constantly feeling guilty about my introversion, partially because all three of my boys inherited my husband and my’s introversion. So, I often feel badly that they aren’t terribly active socially. They each have a couple of close friends, and that’s all. At the same time, they, like us, are perfectly happy with that.

    I think our society puts a premium on extroverts and paints a picture of what we are supposed to be like and how we are supposed to live: have tons of online and offline friends, go out with others at least every Friday and Saturday night, chat and socialize, get invited to lots of parties and events and attend them. Facebook has actually made this worse as FB addicts paint an image on it of always being out with friends partying or going to cool events. For those of us who think, “Actually, I’d rather stay in with the family tonight than go to the neighbor’s party…” there’s a sense that there is something wrong with us.

    I also find the introvert effect online. I’m not as good at “connecting” with people online because if I don’t think I have something valuable or useful to say, I tend not to tweet or reply. Introvert trait. Sometimes, I wish I valued and enjoyed mindless chatter…ok, not really.

    • ginidietrich

      @Neicolec Next time you feel like you want to stay at home rather than go to a party, text me. I’ll talk you into staying at home.

  • Elke_Moerenhout

    @Morfitis INTJ, wasn’t it?

    • Morfitis

      @Elke_Moerenhout Yes indeed!

  • ginidietrich

    @amylizmartin HAPPY to speak your language!

  • ginidietrich

    @taylorhulyk That’s right!

  • JenPalumbo

    @ginidietrich I loved this post. I enjoy working with people, but there are some times I just need to be left alone to think for myself!

    • ginidietrich

      @JenPalumbo Exactly!

  • Mediameeter

    @ginidietrich We see being introverted as weakness–vs. alternate wiring. A phone is not a hammer, yet both are useful to drive points

    • ginidietrich

      @Mediameeter Precisely. Just different personalities.

  • candacemgraves

    Awesome! There is such a thing as an introvert in the PR world. Gives me hope 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @candacemgraves There are lots of us!

  • JustInTheSouth

    @ginidietrich are you still on this thing?

    • ginidietrich

      @JustInTheSouth The Twitter thing? No.

      • JustInTheSouth

        @ginidietrich Ok good. I would hate to be missing you if you were on here.

        • patrickreyes

          @JustInTheSouth You’re lucky. At least @ginidietrich hasn’t told you she isn’t speaking to you until after the Super bowl.

        • JustInTheSouth

          @patrickreyes yeah well. @ginidietrich has unfollowed me and and unfriended me more than once.

        • ginidietrich

          @JustInTheSouth Nope. Not missing me at all.

        • JustInTheSouth

          @ginidietrich ok good. Guess I’ll have to send you messages via pigeons since we never talk anymore

  • JoelFortner

    @MargieClayman I think she’s just trying tell people to leave her alone but in a nice way! @ginidietrich

    • MargieClayman

      I’d believe that except Gini never pulls a punch 🙂 @JoelFortner @ginidietrich

      • ginidietrich

        @MargieClayman @JoelFortner Margie is right. If I want you to leave me alone, I”ll tell you!

        • JoelFortner

          @ginidietrich I bruise like a peach. Go easy. @MargieClayman

  • ginidietrich

    @TheSalesLion Uh…ask Mr. D. He’ll tell you. He HATES it.

    • MSchechter

      @ginidietrich @TheSalesLion Saying Gini is shy is like saying I’m repressed…

      • ginidietrich

        @MSchechter @TheSalesLion I never said I’m shy. I’m not. I’m an introvert. BIG difference.

        • MSchechter

          @ginidietrich @TheSalesLion Just read the article, makes a lot more sense in that context. I’m still an extrovert (shocker 🙂 )

        • ginidietrich

          @MSchechter Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me one bit…considering the circumstance under which I met you

        • MSchechter

          @ginidietrich The circumstance? You call that circumstance, I call it Thursday 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @MargieClayman Do you still have snow?

    • MargieClayman

      @ginidietrich little clumps here and there. It feels like March now. So confused.

      • ginidietrich

        @MargieClayman Here too. I hate it.

        • MargieClayman

          @ginidietrich sssssshhhh. I have a new idea. I’m going to wish for snow and see if it dumps on you. So…SNOW! Snow ye demons!

        • ginidietrich

          @MargieClayman OMG! YES PLEASE!!!!

        • MargieClayman

          @ginidietrich I’m usin all my brainz!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @JuliaStewartPR Yeah!!

  • I’m gonna have to read that NYT piece, thanks for sharing it. Yes I consider myself an introvert; I’m also shy and probably lacking in social skills – in person, wine helps; online, I make up for that with some fast typing :-). I think I work well with others, but I absolutely need my privacy and autonomy. Think it’s one of those ‘if you shine line on it, you’ll change it’ – I feel too much pressure being watched, someone 2nd guessing or judging my workflows and creative process.

    And quiet alone time, for both work and play, is a must. I’m one of those people very comfortable taking my iPad to a lunch by myself, being at home and not having talked to anyone on the phone for a couple of days. Like you said, I need that to recharge, get a handle on the crazy in my head. FWIW.

    • ginidietrich

      @3HatsComm And there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! I find wine helps me in social situations, too. Just one glass is enough. I once joked with my doctor that she should prescribe wine so I wasn’t so stressed about talking on the phone.

  • I’m a somewhat shy introvert who also happens to be a department manager. Sometimes that boggles my mind! I’ll sit back and think: “giving presentations makes my voice crack and leading team meetings still causes my hands to shake from time to time, so how could I possibly be in a leadership role?” It’s not always easy, that’s for sure. But we have to respect each other and our personalities — as diverse as those may be — if we want to pull together as a team. Extroverts and introverts can learn a lot from each other! 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @Jill Tooley That’s so funny! I sit on a board and, every month I get nervous when it’s my turn to talk. And I speak. A ton. But the good thing about what we’re both doing is getting out of our shells and not letting our personalities hold us back.

      • @ginidietrich You said it. Slowly but surely, I’m climbing out of that restrictive shell and into the sunlight. Man, does that burn at times…haha!

  • 3HatsComm

    @joshhumble Thx.

  • jcufaude

    No, it doesn’t mean you get your energy from being alone. It means you get more energy from the opportunity to be reflecting and listen to your inner voice, something that doesn’t have to require privacy and exclusion.

    • ginidietrich

      @jcufaude I definitely get more energy from being alone. With lots of people around all the time, I go a little nuts.

  • michandwalker

    Great post Gini! My employer just moved to a new building and adopted ‘Free Addressing’, also known as absolutley no pricacy. There are some quiet places I can go to if needed, so it all works out.

    • ginidietrich

      @michandwalker Free Addressing?! OMG.

  • SpinSucks

    @giulianalonigro Does “crazy busy community servant” mean you volunteer a ton and can’t say no? Just wondering, cause I do that. 🙂

    • giulianalonigro

      @spinsucks Oh, I don’t know; I think I just like sharing good content. Happy Friday! 🙂

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  • ginidietrich

    @cherrylmartin Yeah!

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