Leadership is often associated with a boisterous and out-going personality. Oftentimes, it is though; introverted people do not make good leaders. This notion might come from introverts needing to wind down after socializing.
Or they might not be authorities or confident enough to lead a team. That dogma is quite contrary to what great introvert leaders can achieve. Introverts often make one of the most effective and beloved leaders in the workplace. If you are an introvert and want to learn to be a better leader, this article is for you.
This article will teach you how to be a leader when you are an introvert. We will take a deep dive into some tips and tricks for how you can use personality traits to your advantage. So, let us get right to it.
Why Do Introverts Make Such Good Leaders?
Before we go on answering the question of how to be a leader when you an introvert, let us make a case for introverted leaders worldwide, what makes introvert leader such great and effective leaders.
Some introvert leaders are some of the most transformative leaders. Here is why:
They connect genuinely with people
Introverts might be mistaken to be less social compared to extroverted leaders. However, introverts tend to value quality over quantity. They form meaningful, long-lasting connections with people.
This helps introvert leaders to inspire more people, and especially those who have a strong bond built with the introverted leader in the first place. Their connections are based on genuine bonds with others. They care about the relationships and put effort into where it creates the most impact.
They are great at solving problems
Introverts are persistent and also resilient, especially for things they care about deeply. These make them quite the acute problem solvers. Having an introverted leader in the team ensures they tackle a problem head-on and work on it persistently.
They listen when others might not
Introverts are great listeners. This is a trait very often associated with introverts in general. So how does this benefit in leadership? Actively listening to everyone before they speak themselves can give them a better understanding of what is being said.
They do not overwhelm people with only their ideas. Introverted leaders can listen to nonverbal cues and have greater empathy, which allows them to see what people want and what can be done to motivate people.
Listening to people is surely on the biggest strength an introvert possesses. Listening allows introverts to gather information from different perspectives, which have different values. This, of course, leads to better decision making.
How to Be a Leader When You Are an Introvert?
If you are an introvert, one rule you should keep in mind is not to force yourself to change. Going against the grain can actually be more detrimental than useful. Even if the accepted notion of extroverts makes better leaders is prevalent.
As an introvert, there are some actionable and effective steps you can take to make yourself a better leader. Let us look into how to be a leader when you are an introvert.
Good communication skills are crucial for any leader. Introverts might come off as not collaborative, not because they are, but just because they may tend to keep to themselves.
By communicating clearly, you make your points clear and show others you are putting valuable input into the matter. Thus, clearly communicating your ideas and thoughts is very important.
Wear the introverted badge proudly
Many introverts in the workplace feel pressure to socialize more or to open up more. They feel their peers want them to be more extroverted. As mentioned before, going against the grain will not bear good results.
Ignore if people think you are introverted. Focus on the work and trust in your abilities.
Listen, listen and listen
If you are an introvert, chances are you already have this down. We would still like to reiterate this fact. Listen to what others have to say. Gather proper information and then put forward your ideas and opinions.
This is one of the makings of respectful leaders. People will immediately notice you listening to them. Which, in turn, makes them feel appreciated and gives them a sense of contribution. Both of which are positives.
Be clear on your boundaries
As an introvert, it is natural to feel drained after a lot of socializing. Setting boundaries regarding when you need your time alone is very important. By setting boundaries for yourself (and communicating said boundaries clearly), you give yourself much needed time to recharge.
Leading a team can be quite a daunting task. If you need some time alone, be sure to make the time. This will only help you become a better leader at the end of the day. It keeps you thinking clearly and helps you become more productive in the long run.
Try getting out for your comfort zone once in a while
Take this one a bit slow. When you do something slightly out of your comfort zone, you slowly get better at it. This way, you keep more of a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.
You learn new things, and hey, maybe you will discover something like that you did not know before. Going out of your comfort zone from time to time is a good practice for any leader and personal growth.
Maintain proper eye contact
Eye contact is crucial in effective communication and also a part of leadership. Maintain eye contact shows confidence and authority – two traits important in leaders.
When speaking with others, it might be difficult for introverted leaders to maintain eye contact. However, try to work on this as much as you can since it makes you come off as more confident, as mentioned.
Apart from verbal communications, body language also has a very large impact on how confident you come across or how your communication skill and the message is perceived.
Some introverts may tend to have a more closed body language. Open up your body language and use it as an extension for your communication. Sit up straight, stand with your shoulders wide, and use gestures when public speaking.
Minor things like these can greatly improve your command over a room of people. Besides, having an open body language also makes you feel more confident as well.
Plan small meetings
Again, if possible, create ideal circumstances for yourself. If you work better with smaller groups, you can plan your meetings with small teams to make the most of it. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and overstimulated.
Meetings can be one-to-one
No one said meetings always need to be with a group of people. If you are more comfortable having one-on-one meetings, by all means, go ahead. These meetings can even be more effective in certain cases, as well.
This might seem like simple advice, but can help tremendously when dealing with people and especially with people you care about. Smiling more helps you come across more open and approachable.
In today’s ever-changing world, leadership can have many forms. Great leaders can emerge from anywhere and take charge. These easy and effective tips should give you an idea of how to be a leader when you are an introvert.