The rise of the extroverts?
Assertiveness has become a survival skill. If you aren’t assertive, you are not going anywhere. More than your skills and capabilities what matters in the world is how well you portray what little capability you possess. You might be the genius who came up with the concept of the hype cycle (#gartner), but if you can’t market yourself, it is no use. In a world where everyone is trying to make an impact and make themselves more memorable, the ones who speak constantly are bound to be remembered.
This is the era of the extroverts. The ones who can speak their way through life. People who surf the world on confidence and aggression. In today’s world, “Jo dikhta hai, wo bikta hai” and this system has an innate bias towards the outspoken, no matter how daft. Okay, that is a little extreme, but if you are not completely dumb and chatty and can speak your way through a bunch of conference rooms, congratulations, you are it!
If you are humble, people are going to walk all over you. Nobody is going to come and give you an award for that. In fact, nobody is even going to give you what you deserve unless you ask for it. You have to fight for what you want, let me rephrase that you have to fight for what you fuckin deserve. You have to metaphorically shout and yell and scream and make people notice you because they won’t spare a second if you don’t. They will overlook you and move on. That is the truth in our world today.
This system also creates a gender divide. Not trying to generalize here, but the qualities we associate with success and leaders such as assertiveness and a commanding presence are often stereotypically aligned with masculine traits. This further perpetuates a gendered division in a professional setting. Adding to this the gender diversity in our workplaces creates a difficult situation for women. Picture this: assertiveness, confidence, and a commanding presence are like VIP passes, but they seem to have a dress code that is oddly skewed towards tuxedos. I myself have been quite often the only woman sitting in a conference room full of men. In any case, I digress.
Our system is designed to inherently favor people who have good soft skills and that is what the world runs on, and you thought your skills were going to be enough. So if you are an introvert trying to find your place in this world, here is a disclaimer for you: you are in for a tough journey. Buckle up and prepare to embrace extroversion.