Introverts have been stereotyped as shy, antisocial, distant, aloof, and sometimes boring and averse. Because of these misconceptions, it would seem difficult for introverts to survive or lead in this fast-paced society. In a world where who you know matters just as much as what you know, it can be hard for introverts to make a name for themselves.
However, many of the world’s greatest leaders and impact-shakers are self-proclaimed introverts. Among the list of successful introverts is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It may come as a surprise that the one person who has greatly impacted social media is an introvert himself. He takes pride in the quality of connections that he has more than the number of people he knows and works with.
Bill Gates, business magnate Warren Buffet, and Barack Obama also made it to the list of truly influential introverts.
Being an introvert should not hinder the great leader in all of us. It only takes a few moments of courage to realize that the world is not always in need of charismatic, outgoing, gregarious individuals.
We all need to realize that what it takes to be successful is not in the volume of our voice but in the strength of our arguments. And not in how loud we can say our ideas but in what we have to say.
Here are six tips that introverts can take advantage of to be effective leaders in the workplace:
The one thing that mostly identifies an introvert from the rest is that they are good listeners. Their quiet nature can sometimes be misunderstood. But this should work in their favor. The capacity to listen in a world that won’t stop talking is a prized attribute that introverts have mastered.
Introverts do not talk as much as extroverts. But this doesn’t mean that they are not aware of what’s happening. If anything, this makes it a lot easier for introverts to soak in the problem and understand others from their perspective.
2. Exude Calm in Times of Conflict
Everyone thinks differently, making conflict inevitable at work. At times when everyone seems to stir up conflict, be the voice of reason, calmness, and rationality.
If you need to stay on the sidelines to evaluate the situation only to step up later on with a well-thought input, then do so. This quality lets introverts process the problem at hand and buys them more time to think of an effective solution to the problem.
When an introvert pitches in an idea, people are likely to listen because they know that they have gone through a considerable amount of time before voicing out.
As introverts are innately good listeners, this creates the notion that they have already paid close attention to every detail and that they are coming from a perspective that best works for the organization.
3. Break Through Your Comfort Zone
Great leaders do not just work with what they have. They work with what they have been given to create what they didn’t have previously. They think outside of the box, socialize with people outside of their circles, and exchange ideas with individuals who challenge them.
One trait that makes a leader great is the fact that they are not afraid of change. They thrive in difficult situations and emerge better through them.
This can be quite challenging for an introvert since they are not used to working with a crowd. But introverts can leverage their genuine intention to listen closely to others. This could spring professional connections and expand an introvert’s network.
4. Communicate Effectively
Effective communication is key to an organization’s success. This works both regarding verbal and written communication. Most introverts communicate better in the written medium. Some are more effective at speaking. Find the medium that works best for you, and start from there.
Practice using the platforms available for you to make your ideas be heard. People need to know your plans as the leader and where the organization is heading. They need to be informed to be able to participate in your leadership.
5. Keep Up With Emerging Technologies
Thanks to technology, work has become relatively easier. Technology has made it possible to talk to colleagues without face-to-face interaction. As such, this helps to reserve much-needed vigor for client meetings, proposals with potential business partners, and organizational planning.
6. Take Time Off to Find Your Center
As introverts are not usually social animals, they are more prone to being drained from joining one too many social gatherings. Introverts are used to working on their own, making it more cumbersome for them to socialize.
Introverts need time off to find their center and gain their much-needed energy back. Introverts need to rejuvenate, as with any working individual.
Time off work can increase productivity for an introvert because they can use this time to research more effective ways to make work more successful, as well as new strategies to engage everyone in business operations. Time off means renewed strength and passion for everyday obstacles.
As much as our personalities help us in surviving our day-to-day lives, these do not necessarily define us. By the end of the day, we are all defined by the decisions we make, not the circumstances we are in. Our weaknesses are not the end of our journey; what we make of them is.
Success should not be monopolized by a spectrum of personalities but by those who work hard enough to attain their dreams.
Which Strategies Work for Introverts in Leadership?
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