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Your quiet worker might be the most valuable

They are frequently misunderstood as timid or unassertive. But they can make for successful leaders, great listeners and creative workers

By | Reem Khokhar |

Sana Shawkath Khan does not like talking about or making a big deal of her work or professional achievements. Work should speak for itself, Khan, 30, believes. While such an approach offers her peace of mind and more job satisfaction, it has led to instances where she lost interesting opportunities to colleagues who were louder about their work and, hence, more “visible” to managers.

The sidelining eventually took a toll on Khan, so much so that she left the companies where she didn’t feel valued enough. “I can’t do a constant display of progress and achievements. That’s just not me. I lost my voice at previous companies where I felt disrespected. That shifted here,” Khan says, referring to her present organisation, Bengaluru-based events and talent management firm Overture Entertainment, where she heads the communications department. “My team looks up to me for my reliability; I feel supported.”

For the quiet worker, who prefers to stay away from the spotlight, it can be challenging to navigate the hyper-connected corporate world where extroversion and charisma are usually favoured more. It can result in lost promotions, lower salaries than extroverted colleagues with similar experience, and being taken for granted.

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