It’s rare that you see the words “introvert” and “leader” in the same sentence. After all, the common perception is that extroverts make great public speakers and are excellent networkers -- two things that are often desired in leaders -- and that introverts just don’t possess.
If like many of us, you thought introversion fit leadership like a square peg, you might be surprised to find out that they make wonderful leaders. Here’s 5 reasons why.
By nature, introverts are calm and collected.
I don’t know about you, but when someone around me is noticeably stressed and anxious, I tend to get anxious myself. While extroverts tend to get more visibly emotional and upset in critical situations, introverts do a great job at maintaining their composure. So when catastrophe strikes, introvert leaders are able to hold it together.
They’re Great Listeners
Because they are naturally very observant and thoughtful, introverts are also excellent listeners. Great leaders don’t just talk, they listen intently — to their employees, consumers, and anyone else around them. They’re vocal about their ideas but are also open to feedback and change. They take their employees’ ideas into consideration and really listen when they’re upset about something.
Introverts also know that listening is the key to learning…and learning is the key to growth — both as a leader and an organization.
They Don’t Like to Micromanage
Introverts are often humble individuals and don’t like to steal the limelight. They tend to let their employees take charge. While leaders shouldn’t just sit back and let their employees run the show, it’s important that they give employees the freedom to exercise their opinions and take charge of situations. The important thing is to guide, not micromanage. Micromanagement lowers morale, makes employees feel suffocated, stifles creativity and leads to resentment. It’s a balancing act and introverts do it well.
They Resist Self-Defeating Impulses
Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” That, in a nutshell, sums up a major difference between introverts and extroverts.
Leaders should be setting an example for their employees. Like the boss who tells his employees to arrive early to work and then shows up late…If a leader is all over the place and unable to focus or gives up easily on things, what kind of message is that sending to their employees? On the other hand, if they’re focused, not only will that help to deliver better results all around, but it’ll act as a positive example for everyone else in the organization.
They’re Crave Meaningful Conversations
Introverts tire easily of small talk. They prefer more in-depth, deep conversations. This goes back to the importance of listening. Introvert leaders are great at taking a step back and really taking the time to understand their employees and their organization. They’re compassionate and make an effort to stay in tune with the needs and desires of their employees.
The myth that introverts are less effective leaders than their extroverted brethren is just that. Leverage your personality strengths to lead your business no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on.
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