The first steps are always the hardest, because they usually take you out of your comfort zone. As someone who is an introvert, stepping out of my comfort zone often starts when I attend a meetup; and this time I was pleasantly surprised.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem socializing and of course I’ve been to meetups. But then the pandemic pushed me back into my den a bit.
So it came in handy that now, thanks to my planned year-long journey, I have a reason to hang out more at meetups and other events.
At a recent meetup hosted by Agile Coaching and Beyond, I was able to get a question straight to the authors of the book _ Enterprise Agile Coaching: Creating Sustainable Change with an Invitational Approach_ - Cherie Silas, Michael de la Maza, and Alex Kudinov.
I wanted to know if they had any tips for introverts embarking on the Agile Coaching journey. On a related note, I also wanted to know how to deal with Imposter Syndrome.
Basically, almost everyone struggles with Imposter Syndrome and it is not necessarily related to introversion.
In relation to Imposter Syndrome in the context of coaching, it is important to keep in mind that as a coach you are the one asking questions to connect to the knowledge and experiences of the person being coached. The answers are already within the person and your task as a coach is to elicit them. Accordingly, you do not need to be an expert in the coachee’s field.
When it comes to events and keynotes where you are the center of attention, realize that people are coming there to hear you speak and to learn something. It’s not about anyone seeing you fail.
Cherie also addressed the point Susan Cain makes in her book Quiet: Introverts get their energy from having time to themselves and being able to quiet down. That’s why it’s important, especially after events, to create a retreat for yourself to recharge.
Alex brought up an interesting point that will stick in my mind. As an introvert, you generally feel comfortable at the front of the room when you’re speaking in front of other people. You likewise feel comfortable when you’re alone in the back of the room by yourself. But you feel uncomfortable as soon as you’re in the middle of people having informal conversations about rather unimportant topics - small talk.
I, for one, subscribe to that.
See you soon! Marco