People say that there’s no place for a timid or unassuming person in a corporate workplace. More so, such a modest or reticent individual is presumed to be unfit as a leader as they seem to be apprehensive or weak.
But what most people don’t realise is that an introverted person can become one of the best leaders in an organisation. Why is that? For someone to practice good leadership, one does not need to be loud spoken, brazen and presumptuous. An introvert often possesses the essential qualities for being a good and effective leader, like modesty and pleasantness. But how can these seemingly “frail” traits turn into an advantage in leading a team?
1. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
For one, introverts are more attuned to their thoughts and emotions. Thus, they can recognise their strengths and weaknesses, and are more self-aware and able to self-manage. It is important for leaders to know which of their qualities they can improve on or be observant of how others react or feel during certain situations. An introvert can make good use of having a high level of emotional intelligence to become a successful leader.
2. Use Your Good Listening Skills
Introverts are good listeners; thus they are the ideal leaders. They hear from everyone in the team and welcome their ideas. They recognise and encourage divergence, and a well-established leader brings it towards convergence. A team can sense a leader’s listening skills and gauge how open that leader is to listen to concerns or issues. Introverts can take advantage of being an active listener as they fulfil their role of a leader.
3. Remain Analytical and Pensive
Introverts are also great at analysing and perusing. Thus, they thoroughly think through important and critical decisions, carefully weighing the pros and cons, and coming up with sound and reasonable decisions. This trait prevents them from making hasty decisions that miss considering ideas from various angles or those that are done unilaterally.
4. Preparation is Key
As most introverts dread dealing or talking to a large group of people, introverts find it helpful to be well-prepared before facing their team. Visualising these preparations, such as by writing their ideas and plans, and presenting these to the team, can reduce the stress of social interaction. Being well-prepared can ease worry and anxiety when handling a team.
5. Practice Communication
Establishing the standards or common grounds on team communications can help introverted leaders. Agreeing on the frequency of meetings, such as limiting to very important ones or those that already completed pre-woks, will ensure effectiveness and utmost productivity. Thus, these preparations are done separately, after an initial alignment meeting providing the requirements and guidelines. Managing the team’s expectations and ‘house rules’ early on, will set-up better team dynamics.
Given introverts are also good at individual communications, an introverted leader can utilise this strength to build rapport with team members through one-on-one dialogues. This becomes a good opportunity to get to know everyone from the team, especially those that are also introverts who are quiet during the bigger team meetings.
Are you an introvert who would like to excel as a leader? Carrie Benedet is a corporate leadership coach who can guide you through becoming an effective leader. Send her a message today.