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How to help your office wallflowers blossom

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Are you writing off your shy employees? That woman who tallies numbers like a pro, but never speaks . . . the IT guy who can fix any computer snafu but who avoids other workers like the plague? If you are, you may be losing a great resource.

"Don't confuse a shy person with someone who's disgruntled or who just doesn't want to participate," says Chere Estrin, CEO of -based Estrin Organization, a professional legal and financial staffing firm. Estrin points out how to spot a shy worker: " is a form of social anxiety, and shy people find it hard to make eye contact. They speak in low voices and often blush and can have sweaty hands."

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