The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
Published here December 2012.

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In today's world of projects, and correspondingly intermittent occupation, you have to sell yourself for the best projects, or even just to stay employed. And selling yourself means self-promotion. According to Shakti Gattegno,[1] educational consultant:[2]

"Self-promotion starts with self-reflection, which requires observing oneself in the lighting of awareness and without judgment. It helps to pay close attention to what you are or have rather than to emphasize what you think you're not or don't have. The more one is connected to oneself, the greater will be one's capacity to reach out. And the less one will expend energy trying to please the world."

That's all very well, but while self-promotion is a necessary activity, it can also be quite uncomfortable for some people. This is perhaps best illustrated by finding yourself on one side of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Grid, the side identified by an "I", for "Introvert". If this is the case, then you may be surprised to learn that you are a part of about one-third of the population.

For those not familiar with the MBTI grid, see the references below.[3] Introversion gets even more pronounced if you are in the quadrant designated by an "IN", where "N" represents "iNtuitive" that represents about 5% of the population.[4] These are the people who are clearly "introverts".

When I took the MBTI assessment I was quite proud to find myself marked as an "INTJ", which is in the very far corner and represents only 1% of the population. Descriptions such as: "compelling, self-confident, strategic, creative and drive" spring out, which is all very positive and encouraging, but introverts do have some disadvantages as shown in the following table, Figure 1.[5]



More inclined to deep conversation

More inclined to chit chat

Waits to be approached

Initiates conversations

Typically reserved

Typically expressive

Knows a lot about a few topics

Knows a little about a lot of topics

Appears reflective and calm

Appears more energetic

More detailed oriented

Prefers less complicated tasks

More private and hesitant

More readily open

Figure 1: A comparison between Introverts and Extroverts

From this you can see that self-promotion presents a particular challenge for introverts. All too often, introverts get passed over for job offers and promotions while their more extrovert colleagues get all of the recognition. So, I was pleased to receive a copy of the book Self-Promotion for Introverts®. The author of this book is Nancy Ancowitz, who is a self-confessed introvert, has studied the challenge from a very personal standpoint, and has been offering a Self-Promotion for Introverts® workshops and coaching many important clients.

If you have introvert tendencies such as those tabulated in Figure 1, and seek to counteract them with a view to improving your image and position in the workplace, then this book is for you.


1. Shakti Gattegno is the wife of the late Caleb Gattegno who founded the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) in 1950 to encourage the development of mathematics education for children. For more information, see 2. Ancowitz, Nancy, Self-Promotion for Introverts®, McGraw-Hill, NY, 2010, p3
3. For an introduction to MBTI see this page: and the implications for project managers, see this paper:
4. No wonder some types of project manager are hard to find!
5. Ancowitz, Self-Promotion for Introverts®, examples extracted from p2.
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