My name is William Taylor. And I am an introvert.


My name is William Taylor. And I am an introvert.

To be clear, I’m actually quite proud of being an introvert. My preference for solitude enables me to concentrate on certain tasks. And while I have no issue in being in large social settings, I take great pleasure in taking a step back and just listening to the flow of conversation, speaking up when I have something important to contribute.

Unfortunately, being an introvert in a professional setting can be a tough skill to market.  Many people have misconstrued introverts as reserved or as having socially unacceptable behavior.  There have been a few times when people have interpreted my silent nature as “just being shy” and my personal preference for being independent as “unwilling to work with others.”

Interestingly, I am one of many introverts at work and after a conversation with my manager about different personality traits, I was introduced to Quiet, also known as “The Bible for Introverts.”

Throughout the book Quiet, author Susan Cain discusses the social practice of undervaluing the contributions of introverts, especially in the areas of professional and personal relationships. Back in the 1920’s, when advertising became a booming industry, extroverted personalities started to become popular. Americans were rapidly introduced to products accompanied by buzzwords and phrases promising to help consumers achieve a more “fascinating”, “dominant,” and “energetic” social attribution. This over-exaggerated and animated language set a status-quo that favored extroverts. Fast forward 80+ years and the remnants of this desired personality trait still remain. Not just in the context of promoting consumer goods, but in personal and professional settings.

Cain also addresses the undervalued qualities of introverts that can be crucial ingredients of any team. One example is an introvert’s desire to be alone. According to Cain, solitude is an import key to creativity. She recalls the story of Stephen Wozniak, who is credited as the father of the first personal computer. Although Wozniak’s invention was influenced by a small discussion on microchips, the creative process of designing the PC was a result of countless hours spent alone, working through ideas in his head. To reinforce her point, Cain cites a study on the nature of creativity conducted by The Institute of Personality Assessment and Social Research, that found more creative people tended to be “socially poised introverts.”

Now, in no way am I calling for introverts to rise and unite against the extroverts. In fact, this book has shown me that a well-rounded team requires the contributions from both introvert and extroverts. Both personality types have qualities that benefit a personal or professional relationship in numerous instances. What it comes down to essentially is communication and understanding. Whether your personality type is more extroverted or introverted, taking the time to understand your coworkers can go a long way towards productivity and maintaining a happy work place.

Meet Will:

1. What’s the last video game you purchased?

The last video game that I purchased is Paragon, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game. Although I am not very good at it, it’s a new challenge for me to conquer…eventually.

2. Would you be a good Fear Factor contestant?

I want to say yes, but truthfully, some of those events are just too real. I can’t say I’d be gung-ho on eating animal’s organs in their raw form and anything that involves spiders is an automatic no-go.

3. We know you’re a dancer. What’s your favorite song to dance to?

WHO TOLD YOU?! 🙂 But in all seriousness, I don’t have a favorite song to dance to. In fact, I can’t say that there is a specific genre I like dancing to either! I’ve actually danced to all the songs on my iPod at least once or twice and the myriad of music genre’s range from Pop all the way to video game soundtracks.