This is the first blog post I write, fulfilling a mission of active blogging that has been encouraged by those in my office and imposed on me by the age of social media. I wondered though, how can I, accountant-introvert, contribute something meaningful to the social chatter? Can I train myself to speak to a broad audience with whom there may not be immediate interaction?
As a CPA, I am well-versed in the language of business – numbers.For most of my life, I’ve been content working quietly in my own space. I arrange numbers in their logical position and extrapolate from these numerical results a story of what has happened and a vision of what could happen. Focusing and working in a comfort zone of “solitude” is essential in this profession and is part of what makes me an introvert. I’m certainly not shy though! I have definite opinions on many things and enjoy a good conversation. But in all my baby-boomer years I have communicated one-on-one or with a group of known individuals. Never have I had to communicate in the open, to many and no one in specific. Here is when I’m not only introverted but definitely inexperienced.
I encourage you to watch Susan Cain’s TED talk “The Power of Introverts”. “Introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they are in quieter, more low-key environments”. I enjoy story-telling, advising, and sharing laughs with friends or co-workers. And when it’s time to communicate, I expect and anticipate the facial, verbal or written reaction from the other side.
Susan Cain spent seven years (which she describes as “total bliss”) in research, solitude and contemplation while writing her book. Now that it’s written, she is having to adopt the behavior of an extrovert to promote her book with tours, talks and other P.R. activities. She is not in her natural milieu. And yet, her message is powerful and insightful.
Communicating through social media is not my natural milieu either. But Cain makes a strong case for the connection between solitude, creativity and leadership. If I add to these connections the innate ability of the accounting mind to find patterns and logic, I think Cain would agree this combination could result in an interesting messenger. So there may yet be hope for this introverted, social-media-shy accountant to foster meaningful and maybe even powerful online conversations on many subjects, not just accounting.
In Susan Cain’s case, she spent seven years preparing to speak. I have spent over 25 years preparing as a professional, CEO and mother. I hope my experienced creative-introvert mind will feed my fingers as I continue to type. I hope to express and apply the insights from all those years of contemplation … maybe I will inspire others and even better, spark an interesting conversation!