When confidence is present, it encourages introverts to become change leaders, where speaking out is a necessity. For those favouring introvert behaviours, speaking out directly may take them out of their comfort zone, or there may simply not be enough belief for someone to feel confidence enough to do so. Confidence comes from excellence in communication, and excellent communicators have flexibility – the ability to delve deep into a fantastic toolbox of communication tools and find the right tool for the situation. One such tool is stories and metaphors, and it’s a great way to help introverts speak out and become extroverts when they need to be. Stories have the power to convey a message in a non-confrontational way.

Many years ago, I lost my best friend from my school days. She was only 21 and was killed in a car accident. She was the only one in the car not wearing a seatbelt, and when the car crashed she was thrown out of the car and killed instantly. If someone had spoken out that day and refused to let her travel in the car without a seatbelt, things might have been very different. This is a true story and I tell it every time someone tries to travel in a car with me without wearing a seatbelt. It has impact because it is emotional and everyone can relate to it. It instantly motivates others to put on their seatbelt and its gives me confidence to go into battle for ‘the right thing’ without being misunderstood. Without the story to hand, I may stay silent instead of speaking out.

The preceding is adapted from Employee Confidence – The New Rules of Engagement by Karen J. Hewitt published by Panoma Press ©2017 by Karen J. Hewitt, and published with permission of the author.