An introverted look at internal communication

One of the most popular articles on my blog in recent years, and my favourite guest article is by IC pro Helen Deverell, who wrote about the introverted revolution in internal communication.

Introverted internal commsIn a deeply personal article, Helen shared her thoughts of what being an introvert working in internal communication is like, and referenced Susan Cain’s outstanding book Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.

The book reveals how the power of introverts is often overlooked and society’s understanding of them. Her research shows introverts are integral in organisations and have a lot to give if you can harness that power.

I read Quiet last Summer, and, particularly as an extrovert, found it an incredibly insightful read.

What is an introvert?
Cain’s definition is that introverts have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment: “Introverts tend to enjoy quiet concentration, listen more than they talk, and think before they speak, and have a more circumspect and cautious approach to risk. Introverts think more, are less reckless and focus on what really matters—relationships and meaningful work.”

What is an extrovert?
Cain says that conversely, extroverts are “energised by social situations and tend to be assertive multi-taskers who think out loud and on their feet.” She states that between one-third and one-half of Americans may be classified as introverts, though individuals fall at different places along an introvert-extrovert spectrum. People falling near the middle of the spectrum are called ambiverts or omniverts.

Not sure what you are? Take this short quiz via Susan’s website.

Introverts under the spotlight at IoIC conference

HelenThe Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) is holding its annual conference, IoIC Live14, from 1-2 May in Brighton, UK.

I’m planning to attend, it’s a packed agenda and one of the sessions I’m most looking forward to is the one featuring Helen (pictured).

Helen has been working in the internal communication industry for seven years. She was listed in the Institute of Internal Communication’s 2012 30 under 30 list and was presented with the IoIC Rising Star award of excellence in 2011. I have the pleasure of mentoring her, and you can find her on Twitter @helenW7

The conference will host a culture debate on 2 May, chaired by the ace Belinda Gannaway @contentqueen from NixonMcInnes.

It will be looking at:

  • What is the difference between an introvert and extrovert?
  • Do communication channels work to their best effect if we don’t consider personality types?
  • How engaged are workforces if we don’t understand people as well as we think we do?
  • How do introverts and extroverts cultivate their creativity and how do they work best together?

Introverts, extroverts and omniverts
I’m looking forward to the session and hearing not only from Helen and Belinda, but one of my fellow @theICcrowd co-founders, Dana Leeson @danaleeson. Dana is a Digital Workplace Architect and an omnivert.

I asked her to describe what this is, and Dana said: “I classify myself as an omnivert – needing time to myself to recharge after meeting-heavy days, or conferences or busy weekends. I love and identify with this sentence from a fellow omnivert –  I am extremely extroverted around introverts and very much introverted among extroverts.” 

Who else is speaking?
The conference features speakers including Jon Hawkins of BT (British Telecom), on how the company used language to change its culture, Russell Grossman of the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills on his drive for comms excellence within Government, and Mairi Doyle of BUPA on why Corporate Social Responsibility might matter more than you think.

There are also sessions on what communicators can learn from neuroscience and a look at the influence of Gen Z employees.

It opens on 1 May with an unconference session that will be introduced by my other fellow @theICcrowd co-founder Jenni Wheller @jenniwheller. The topic of that session is “What’s your problem?” – and IC pros are encouraged to contribute to that discussion, whether in the room or not. See this article for more info about how you can get involved.

IoIC conferenceFor further information about the conference, see the IoIC Live 14 Programme. To book or if you have any queries, contact She kindly handled my booking and numerous queries last week – thanks Brenda!

If you are a CIPR member you can benefit from a special offer – you get the ticket at the IoIC member price, so don’t forget to mention that when booking, to save.

You can find the Institute of Internal Communication on Twitter @IoICnews, or see their website for more info. The hashtag for the conference is #ioiclive14.

Are you going to the conference? If so I will see you there. If you’d like to write about it for my blog as a guest article, do get in touch as I’d like to feature views from other attendees alongside my own.


Further reading:
Susan Cain’s book: Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.
Helen’s guest article: The introverted revolution in internal communication.
I’ve just published the 500th article on my blog.

Post author: Rachel Miller.

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