Recently, one of my favorite clients explained how even though she seems otherwise, she is an introvert in real life – and that gave me pause.
I am an active and very public literary agent in the publishing world. I negotiate deals every day with publishers, movie and tv people and foreign publishers and I am known to be a staunch defender of my clients’ rights. Indeed, I am passionate about what I do.
Deep down, though, I am truly very shy. In fact years ago, I found that during a job interview, the interviewer suggested to me that I really should look the person I was communicating with in the eye. I never even realized I wasn’t doing that, but in fact, up until that point, I hadn’t been.
Still, today, many years later, if I agree to attend a cocktail party for example, I have to fight the impulse to find one person in a corner to talk to and stay there all evening. I am extremely nervous entering a room filled with groups of people I don’t know, and tend to stay with those with whom I am familiar.
Probably those who know me and who read this will find my admission of shyness a surprise because I am such a lioness when it comes to advocating for my clients. But it is very true. And so I am a definite example of the fact that not all of us are what we appear to be outwardly.
I wonder how many of you are the same and how that comes into play in your professional lives.