There isn’t a Student Success Project presentation where at the end I’m pulled aside by a parent and asked in a whisper if they can speak with me. I know what’s coming next.
The parent says in some form “The Student Success Project (and success in general) is geared for outgoing, sociable, communicative, gregarious, unconstrained kids who are social butterflies.” They then go on to say that their child is “…shy, timid, reluctant, quiet, and in a shell.”
I’m not even sure where to begin except to make a blanket statement covering the main tenant of The Student Success Project –“Successful students come in all shapes, sizes, colors, abilities, sounds and yes even personalities.”
It’s sad to hear perceived helplessness from parents when they think their child must also possess extrovert traits to be a successful student whereas their kids just aren’t wired that way.
Student success is not tied into the ability to be an extrovert or introvert, but rather owning who you are and living by THEIR OWN definition of success. When students accomplish what THEY deem to be successful, everything else falls into place – FOR THEM.
With that said, I know there are nonbelievers who swear by the extrovert student success path. All I can say is, your selling your student short and here’s why.
From speaking with teachers and administrators, it’s safe to say that introverted students are often misunderstood when in essence it’s really all about energy. Some teachers even say the definition of class participation should broaden to include students taking in-depth notes during class or students coming to ask questions afterwards instead of real time input and sharing.
Introverts generate energy through reflection and quiet time while an extraverts’ energy is increased by spending time in busy, stimulating places often with lots of people around.
But have no fear, introverts are more successful in the following areas:
1. They are better listeners.
Introverted students are considered to be better listeners than extroverted students. Introverted students carefully listen to what teachers have to say and vice-versa.
2. They embrace solitude.
Introverted students are energized by spending time alone. It gives them opportunities for self-reflection, reasoning, speculating, monitoring, arranging, or envisioning, not to mention reading, researching, and writing. It develops their ability to think.
3. Introverts are the wizards of preparation.
Thoughtfulness, consideration, and thorough preparation are principles every student should use. But for introverts, these vital principles come inherently. Because introverts think before they speak whether communicating with their team, delivering presentations or interacting with classmates and/or groups.
4. Introverts challenge themselves.
Introverts spend much time thinking; they’re likely to know about areas where they need to improve. This type of focus and awareness is important to the growth of students and eventually those around them.
5. They emphasis on deepness.
Introverted students like to dig deeper, researching on problems and ideas before moving on to new ones. They seek intensity over width. They are attracted to significant discussions, not insignificant talk. They know how to ask good questions and listen to the response.
6. Introverts exhibit coolness.
Students showing a calm sense of self-confidence can do miracles for their efforts. When a tough situation arises their careful, analyzed, and calm acts are not only more helpful for encouraging themselves but, can also do the same for creating the same type of approach of coolness in those around them.
Shhh…don’t underestimate quiet students. They know more than they say, think more than they speak and observe more than you know.
This column is by Ritchie Lucas, founder of The Student Success Project and previously Think Factory Marketing. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or via email at email@example.com, and on Facebook and YouTube as The Student Success Project.