What does the word “leader” mean? Well, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, a leader is a person who is in control of a group or situation.

Or it can be explained as “a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal”.

However, a “leader” is also commonly referred to as a person who likes to be the center of attention, and therefore is acquainted with many people, has a global vision, and a certain amount of healthy aggression.

In fact, many words we use acquire additional aspects and shades of meaning not present in dictionaries.

The word “leader” became associated with extroversion, although the definition provides us with information on what leaders do without mentioning the means they use to achieve their goals.

It means that a leader can be an introvert as well, if they successfully manage other people.

The mere fact that introverts need to be by themselves to recharge their energy does not speak for their ability to lead other people, develop a strategy, and allocate tasks.

Introverted leaders should analyze their weaknesses that may stand in the way of successful leadership. Some of them can be hidden strengths that are not valued.

1. Silence

If you do not wear a mask of a sociable extrovert, then you do not talk much.

It might seem like a big problem during meetings with colleagues or negotiations with partners.

But look at this from a different angle: since you prefer listening to speaking, you give more time for others to show themselves.

Besides, there is a big chance you are great at asking questions. With this strength, you can win your partners over and learn much from them.

At the meetings, you can move the focus from yourself to your colleagues and become a moderator.

So you can direct the conversation in a focused way, and collect the necessary information to think about it later. And there is no need to worry that your own team will talk over you.

Introverts often avoid speaking in public, because they struggle with word retrieval. It is not because they are less clever. It is because they rely more on long-term memory.

So you probably prepare for meetings more thoroughly than extroverts do.

2. Overly Empathetic

In general, people value empathy, but this trait is not always welcome in leaders because it restricts them from being tough enough when the situation so requires.

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However, do not forget that to make a team work as effective as possible, leaders need to balance different personalities.

Extroverts often rely on first impressions. As a result, talented people may remain unnoticed. Or, even worse, other introverts may become less motivated, and feel useless and second-rate.

Thanks to their ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and inclination towards reflection, introverted leaders let all team members shine.

They can unleash the dormant potential of less active team members to make the team stronger.

3. Lack of Small Talk

Small talk is an important factor in developing relationships between colleagues. And it is considered that introverts cannot master the art of speaking with others while not covering any functional topics.

Indeed, extroverts are usually more skilled in small talk. However, we often underestimate people’s need in meaningful conversations.

Introverts need more time to adapt to the environment and “scan” other people.

However, they also can make a conversation more personalized and interesting for their companions, taking small talk to the next level.

This is what makes them unique in the eyes of other people, and extroverted leaders often lack this special kind of charisma.

4. A Small Contact List

Extroverts collect contacts easily. They often know someone who can help them or someone else in solving particular issues.

But will they? An enormous number of Facebook or LinkedIn friends does not guarantee that all these people are interested in cooperation.

Introverts who invest more energy in maintaining relationships with their acquaintances can count on their support. So it is a question of quality vs quantity, and a specificity of business.

Results

You have to remember that in leadership, results are what matter the most, whether achieved by an extrovert or an introvert.

Introverts have unique strong suits that extroverts do not. They just have to make the best of them.

How Can Introverted Leaders Use Their Weaknesses?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Adam Wakoski
Adam is a freelance writer specializing in business, marketing, productivity and eLearning, who also regularly contributes to a PaperWritings company blog. To get closer to his dream of changing the traditional education system, Adam often offers his help to edtech startups.