It’s never really lost on me that not all of us have the stomach for professional development (PD). Even when the Network plans for events like GATA Winter Academy, I know that some people just don’t take to learning in such large social settings and would rather make sense of things on their own.

PD can be very hard – torturous, even – when you’re an introvert. That’s because most introverts know that PD can help them to do better in their jobs and further their careers, but they still prefer to keep to themselves. As Jennifer B. Kahnweiler explains,

Unlike shyness, a product of anxiety or fear in social settings, introversion is a key part of one’s personality—a hardwired orientation.  Introverts process information internally, keep personal matters private, and avoid showing emotion.

As part of a column for the American Management Association entitled “Advice for Introverts: How to Thrive in the Business World,” Kahnweiler noted that the tendency to process things “internally” often makes introverts feel like they aren’t being heard and thus won’t get ahead. It also makes them avoid professional development activities in large group settings.

That should never be a worry for UWindsor GAs and TAs. Whether accessing the GATA Network’s resources through this blog or on CLEW, or by utilizing the training modules at (which are indeed open to undergrads, too), there are lots of ways to build your teaching and learning skills without having to attend a workshop.

However, Kahnweiler suggests that there are ways to manage introversion if you feel it’s getting in the way of opportunities that present themselves in your work. According to Kahnweiler, “The goal is not to change one’s personality or natural work style, but rather to embrace it and expand on it.” Curious how? Read more: 



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