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Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews Jennifer Kahnweiler on Helping Introverts Speak Up at Work


Podcast Logo Episode 13

Permission to Speak

Video Blog & Podcast

Hosted by Leadership Communications Expert Kelly Vandever

Permission to Speak is the video blog and podcast that loiters at the intersections of leaders who want their people to speak up, technology that facilitates connections, and results that serve an organization’s higher purpose.

Our guest for this episode:  Jennifer Kahnweiler

Topics discussed:

  • Jennifer’s journey with introverts began with her marriage to her husband Bill
  • Introverts recharge internally, being alone, going within
  • Extroverts recharge by being around others
  • Another qualitied of introverts is they’re calm, they don’t show as much on their face
  • Managers need to take into account as they work with their staffs is this dimension of introvert and extrovert
  • Introverts especially benefit from and appreciate one on one time with their manager (actually everyone benefits from one on one time with their manager)
  • Help introverted employees prepare to be showcased in projects or in meetings
  • Give introverts breaks during the day from really intense projects and all-day meetings
  • Introvert friendly workplaces
  • Another strength to play into with introverts is their writing
  • Implementing the strategies for introverts actually benefits everyone, including the extroverts
  • Using enterprise social tool to make introverts more visible
  • 6 key strengths of introverts are (1) quiet time – to be creative, (2) preparation – prepare your talking points, (3) engaged listening – introverts excel in this, paraphrasing, questioning, getting people to share their concerns, building trust (4) focused conversation – give feedback, manage conflict, have difficult conversation, (5) writing – use writing not only to present a point, but to also get clear on where they stand (6) thoughtful use of social media – don’t post willy nilly, but choose a platform to be visible on
  • Privacy is important to introverts but over time, they go deeper with their relationships
  • Encourage introverts to open up a little sooner than they’re even comfortable
  • Networking
  • When networking, prepare for what you might say and things you want to know
  • Understanding our temperament and understanding our filters is very powerful
  • People appreciate that we’re at least trying to make an effort to speak their language
  • Introverted leaders
  • Success of introverted leaders comes from the following steps (called the Four P’s)
  • 1st P – Prepare
  • 2nd P – Be Present, be in the moment, be with me, listen, ask provocative questions
  • 3rd P – Push – Stretch beyond your comfort zone
  • 4th P – Practice – continually refine your skills
  • Opposite of natural skills improve with age
  • Opposites are better because of the sparks
  • Working well with opposites is work, they can drive each other crazy, but it’s worth it to get results
  • ABCDE advice for opposites that work together
  • Accept the Alien – know you’re not going to change them
  • Bring on the Battles – face conflict, embrace it, don’t be afraid of it, talk about what’s going on
  • Cast the Character – put the right person in the right role, brings out the best, then share ownership
  • Destroy the Dislike – act like friends, laugh about your differences
  • Each Can’t Offer Everything – know that together you offer the combination that’s terrific for your clients, the two opposites bring different view points
  • Recommendation for leaders…pause…consider your own thoughts and so you can hear other people