Do you know what Mahatma Gandhi, Marissa Mayer, Bill Gates and Barack Obama have in common?
They are all examples of successful leaders with introverted personalities. Are you also introverted and hesitant about a leadership position? Take it easy. It is not just outward-looking energy bundles that are good managers.
Used properly, your introverted qualities will be an asset to your employees and your organization. Here you can read more about how to succeed.
Being outgoing as a manager is seen by many as a strong trait. But there are also benefits to having more introverted traits as a leader.
The image that introverted managers would be too withdrawn and thus unable to hold senior positions is changing. Recently, leadership books such as “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” and “the Quiet Leadership Institute” by Susan Cain have broadened that picture.
What is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert?
The concepts of introvert and extrovert * were introduced by the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung in 1921. That introverted people are shy and quiet, while those who loudly joke and play around must be extroverted, is a common misconception.
In fact, very outgoing people can be introverted and even extroverts can be shy. On the other hand, introverted people are governed more by their own perceptions than by the outside world and the arguments of others.
As an introvert, you are often thoughtful and enjoy listening and observing before you express yourself. And – perhaps most importantly – you thrive in your own company and gather energy by being yourself or with your loved ones.
In the time of the open office landscape, where “outward-looking and flexible” are hot features in the labor market, the need to work undisturbed or get proper rest after the conference can feel like a black around the foot. But think again. Your strengths as an introvert are very useful in the role of manager.
How to use your strengths as an introvert leader
We all have our strengths and challenges. Here I have collected some really good things that introverted leaders do – when they allow themselves to be themselves.
1. You raise your employees
Your lack of interest in being at the center is a managerial strength. A Harvard study found that introverted managers do not “monopolize space” as extroverts do.
This makes it easier for you to take a step back and let go of others, who in turn dare to take their place and grow.
Introverted managers are better at letting employees develop their own ideas, while extroverted leaders easily get excited, “take over” and let their own ideas overshadow others.
2. You speak in silence
You are perceived as a good listener because you rarely interrupt the speaker. Through your calm manner, you contribute to a calm and constructive atmosphere in the groups you lead.
Just remember that other extroverted people may misunderstand your contemplation.
Many introverts like to look away from the other party to focus better, while extroverts seek eye contact in a conversation.
When you need to think about; show or say it. Your silence can otherwise drive an extrovert to talk even more nervously, conclude that you are not interested or assume that you do not agree.
3. You stand firm when it storms
As an introvert manager, you usually have a strong integrity. It makes you less sensitive to peer pressure, so cherish it.
You are by nature independent and are not colored by trends and group thinking, which is an asset in your long-term decision-making.
You do not turn your coat after the wind and thus do not risk making wrong decisions just because you want to be liked for the moment.
4. You let things take time
In our culture, risk-taking leaders who make quick decisions have long been hailed. But now deepwork, or the ability to focus on deep work, is predicted to be a success factor to trust. Introverted leaders have a head start in thinking risk minimizing.
An analytical and reflective personality avoids hasty (and in some cases: overhasty!) Decisions. See the value in your ability to work intensively with one thing at a time, go in depth and sit for a long time with monotonous tasks without getting bored. Fastest does not always mean best.
5. And you – be yourself!
Just over a quarter of the population is introverted. But many push back that part of their personality to fit into the norm of society. Do not fall into the trap of hiding who you are. Instead, be clear about your needs.
Your analytical approach probably requires more privacy and less external stimulation than your extroverted colleagues are comfortable with. When you feel the need to withdraw, take it seriously.
Partly because you will achieve better results when you give yourself the right conditions. Partly because the risk is otherwise that you become exhausted, which in the long run can lead to serious stress symptoms.
* Extravert comes from the Latin extra (outward) and vertere (turn or point). The spelling extrovert has probably arisen through the influence of the term introvert.
6. Introverted people rarely blame others
Today, time is often spent blaming others if something goes wrong or if a project exceeds its budget. This is something that introverted people spend less time doing.
They spend more time thinking about the situation and developing ways to achieve their and the company’s goals. When something goes wrong, they are also more likely to take the blame, then return to work to learn from their mistakes.
7. Introverted people can be very creative
When ideas run out, it is often the introverted profiles who come up with a creative solution to a problem.
They have spent their time going through the problem in their head, weighing the positive against the negative and have often even spent time themselves thinking about what can be improved.
8. Better focus
Extroverted people often feel that they have to throw themselves into everything that is going on to understand what is happening and what requires their attention.
But introverted personalities are often comfortable spending time for themselves, going through their own thoughts and analyzing the organization’s goals.
In this way, they stay focused during periods of high pressure and can easily keep the organization in the right direction.
9. Dare to be yourself
American sociologists have pointed out that every third person is actually introverted. That more people can be experienced as the opposite is due to the fact that many behave in a more social way to satisfy the environment.
The founder behind the card reader Merchant Machine, Ian Wright, did it for a long time – but came to a point where he released his true self.
I personally decided to become more authentic one day and I just felt this weight lift for myself, but above all for my peers. I cant explain how freeing it was. And if you are struggling with this than my advice for you is that people will actually like you better when you are yourself.
You may not think it but its true, people can usally tell when you are puuting up a frount.
By the way check out this video about everything you need to know about the hidden powers of introverts: