The first thing that comes to mind when most people think about what it means to be a successful leader is an extroverted personality. But do you really have to be that type of a people person to effectively lead others? The truth is that introverts have plenty of skills they can offer, and can easily excel in a leadership position. So how can you make your wallflower personality work for you in your career? Here are some tips to get started.
Good listening skills
This isn’t to say that extroverts are bad listeners, but introverts approach conversations in a different manner. Often, people listen only long enough to formulate their own response. But good leadership revolves around really understanding what it is your employees have to say. Use your instincts to your advantage. Offer to listen to questions, concerns or ideas and then really think about them before circling back to discuss further.
Ability to be prepared
Some extroverts love to live their life by barreling full speed ahead without much thought to the consequences. Introverts, on the other hands, tend to over think things in general. Over thinking isn’t a negative behavior, but it can stifle the ability to move forward. In a leadership role, allow yourself time to over think things and ask for help from your staff to implement them.
A calm, even presence in the office
You are also less likely to have mood swings that affect the team in general. Not to say you don’t have good days or bad days, but you probably are more even-tempered than some of your extroverted counterparts. Everyone knows the bosses that are quick to fly of the handle. The problem is, everyone has had one but no one likes to work for them. Remaining calm is a good first step to smart leadership.
Empathy to better understand
Another aspect where introverts have the market cornered is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of those around you. Introverts are known for their empathy, and this can be crucial in an office where there are a variety of diverse personalities working together. You can take a step back and allow yourself to understand where people are coming from. After taking that assessment, good leaders work out ways to communicate to the staff in a positive way.
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