In a world dominated by extroverted personalities and loud voices, it is often challenging for those with a quieter voice to find their place, especially in fields like marketing that seem to value constant communication and assertiveness.
However, I would argue that being the quietest person in the room does not mean you lack great ideas or that your quieter disposition is a downside. In fact, embracing silence can be a powerful tool for those that are more comfortable doing so, leaving more space to tap into other unique strengths and contribute to the success of your team.
Those that know me might be surprised to hear me classify myself as ‘quiet’, but I have always found myself more comfortable letting others take the centre stage and supporting from the sidelines.
Does being quiet mean that you’re passive?
In the past, I was concerned that my inclination to let others take centre stage would mean that I wouldn’t be able to thrive in a marketing career, but I’ve definitely been guilty of confusing being quiet with being passive, something that I think managers can often be guilty of across industries! It’s easy to get weighed down when feeling like you are being perceived as being passive when in actual fact, you might just be… quiet. Recognising this is freeing and allows you to focus on the attributes that might not be as ‘loud’ but are just as integral to a strong work ethic. You might be quiet, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t actively listening, thinking, contributing, analysing, finding solutions, and getting work done! Value can be added in many ways, even if you aren’t the loudest voice in the room.
Does being quiet mean I have nothing to say?
It should never be misconstrued that the quietest voice in the room has nothing to say. More often than not the deep thinkers are biding their time and actively thinking before voicing their opinion. There can be a certain amount of pressure, especially within the business world, to push yourself to speak up during meetings and for those that aren’t as outgoing by nature, this can feel like talking for the sake of talking. It’s so important to have an environment in the workplace where every voice is listened to and those that appear the most quiet can often have the most thoughtful and valuable insights to contribute.
Actions speak louder than words
While the more outgoing members of your team might excel in presentations and other areas of the business which are more visible. The old adage that “actions speak louder than words” is particularly relevant for those more quiet team members. Adding value in areas which might be easy to go unnoticed, anlaysing data and processing information, with thoughtful actions rooted in careful consideration.
Loudness can be misleading…
Cockiness and confidence can sometimes be misleading, especially in a field like digital marketing. There is no shortage of loud voices striving to be heard, however, it should be cautioned that ‘loud’ doesn’t equal ‘intelligence’. In the era of social media where anyone can have a platform to amplify their voice, it’s easier than ever to appear an ‘expert’ simply by speaking with confidence. I’m sure most people in the business world have witnessed ‘experts’ talk in circles and end up contradicting themselves in a bid to remain the most heard.
Does being quiet limit what you can do?
Now, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t push yourself out of your comfort zone now and then! We’re fortunate at Digital 24 to have an incredible support system in our Managers and Directors, who encourage and nurture the skills that for me personally have felt like roadblocks in the past. Being able to overcome these hurdles and become a voice that’s not only heard but worth listening to has been incredibly liberating. Don’t let yourself be held back or feel backed into a corner by what you might view as personal limitations. Sometimes, it just takes the right training and professional development to help you overcome challenges that you might have viewed as impossible in the past.
It’s important to remember that the quieter people on your team aren’t always passive, in fact, they might be some of your most active contributors! It’s just that their creativity manifests in a slightly different way. The quieter voices on your team often have unique perspectives and plenty to contribute, so make sure that you have an environment where they can be heard just as loudly.