Tip #2: Volunteer for an individual project that helps the larger group
Introverts tend to be dedicated researchers, project planners and independent workers. So, if a deep dive into analytics or some other independent project is necessary before the team can move forward, take it on. The idea is to take ownership of an independent piece of the interdependent project. That way you’ll get to work on your own while contributing toward team success.
If that option isn’t available to you, a one-to-one piece of the project might be a next-best option. Introverts tend to work more productively alongside one colleague rather than with a large group.
Since introverts are also very good listeners and often absorb information well, you can help keep the group on track and on task from meeting to meeting. Volunteer to keep a written summary of progress and email the team with responsibilities and updates. It’s a triple win: You’ll have a high-visibility role helping the team stay on target — and you can do it from the comfort and quiet of your office or cubicle.
Tip #3: Educate your team
Let your team members know that you never want to be standoffish but that you do your best work when you have time to reflect on a topic and think in a quiet setting. Let them know that you’re a great listener and that you’ve taken in their ideas.
It may even benefit you to explain to key team members that it’s not that you don’t want to support your team, it’s just that too much time in a team setting robs you of the productivity you bring to the table. This may be a euphemism for feeling overwhelmed, but see how framing it in a more positive way can work in your favor?