Harvard neuroscientist reveals
This trait is what makes introverts and successful people
A neuroscientist explains which underestimated qualities ensure a successful career – and how we learn and apply them.
introverts often first observe the social environment before engaging in a conversation themselves. They think before they act. This can slow them down, but also makes them appear pleasant to other people. Because in contrast to some others, they rarely push themselves with an unreflected opinion and stand out with high-quality statements. According to neuroscientist and manager Juliette Han, people should use this strength more often.
A learning process – not just for introverts
Of course, both introverts and extroverts can shine through the quality – or appropriate it. According to American Juliette Han the most important characteristic for success in companies is clear writing or the ability to express oneself well in writing. On CNBC Make it, she explains how people can learn and use it.
Clarity is universal
Han explains: If you learn to express yourself strategically and clearly, you can benefit from it in any industry. Whether in writing in an email, in personal interaction with colleagues or in a presentation – the ability makes you more self-confident in social interaction with other people and generally ensures a better exchange. This is very helpful, especially at management levels. To improve the trait, Han gives the following tips:
The right format
How something is received by other people has a lot to do with how it is delivered. That also applies to work processes, Han writes. All information needs the right format. Complex topics usually need a presentation including graphics or models. For internal announcements that affect a workforce, a circular email is the better choice. On the other hand, smaller things like feedback or an update on a work process are most effective via quick personal inquiries or short chat messages.
Even if we think a word is universal and understandable, it doesn’t have to be. What we take for granted may become an obstacle that makes it difficult for others to assimilate information. One study from 2020 concluded that technical jargon caused a disruption in the processing of information. Even if it was explained afterwards.
Han therefore recommends expressing yourself as simply as possible. It can also make sense to use metaphors that are understandable to a large audience. What is not absolutely necessary for the content can be left out. And: The more complex a speech, the more people switch off over time.
Minimize the effort
People should stay tuned and understand what’s going on. This is not easy, because at work we are often flooded with emails and are less attentive. Han advises:
- First remember the reason for the email. For example with “as discussed in the meeting”.
- Don’t assume everyone is on the same page as you. Build a base of information that everyone picks up equally.
- benefit short sentences and structure the content with numbers or bullet points.
- make statements about what will happen next (“the next steps are”, “the deadline is”)
- An email should not be longer than one page. For more information: use the email to present the most important things in highlights – and provide less relevant and additional information as an attachment.
Especially when it comes to difficult decisions, it is important to pick up other employees, says Han. Thought processes, considerations and calculations can be very important for those affected in a company in times of upheaval. This shows them self-confidence with regard to their own task and makes them feel responsible. leave also Space for any feedback and concerns of the team.
Don’t write sloppily
Just knocking out the mail without making any effort is quickly revealed when reading. Therefore: no half things. Han recommends:
- Check emails and presentations multiple times for grammatical errors, typos or incorrect numbering.
- Avoid jokes or unnecessary humor. Because not everyone knows you well enough to judge that correctly.
- Challenge yourself: delete as many words and sentences as possible. Then check whether your statement still stands – and is understandable.
Sources used: CNBC make it, barmer.de, sage journals