Our society has a habit of coveting and catering to the extrovert, leaving the introvert to feel less capable. But the truth is, some of the best thinkers throughout history were introverts. Introverts can be highly effective leaders. The reason introverts often feel they can’t lead is because some of the tips given for leadership don’t cater to them. Here are a few leadership tips for introverts:
1) Tell Your Team What to Expect
While introversion can be a positive quality in a leader, not all employees are used to it. It’s a good idea to let your team members know directly if you are going to do things differently than what they are used to. For example, if you don’t like having meetings as frequently as your team previously did, let your employees know that that’s how the team will be operating. Explain why you think it would be beneficial for you to spend more time on individual work. Let your employees know they can come to you with questions or concerns at any time.
2) Prepare For Meetings
Even if you intend to have fewer meetings that other leaders held, you’ll still want to have a few. If you aren’t prepared for these meetings, you can get overwhelmed and as a result communicate in a way that is not very effective. In order to make the meetings as productive as possible, get ready for the meetings before hard. Write down some thoughts or prepare an agenda. You can even create a presentation to help you stay on task.
3) Have One-on-One Meetings With Employees
If you don’t like having frequent team meetings, make sure you schedule one-on-one meetings with each member of your team. This is a beneficial way for introverted leaders to have effective communication with employees. This will allow you to get input from everyone on your team instead of just from the people who are likely to talk in meetings.
4) Listen First and Talk Second
One of the best leadership qualities associated with being an introvert is being a good listener. Too many people in the business world speak without listening, so introverts have a leg up on the competition in this regard. If you want to be viewed as a respected leader, put those listening skills to use. Actively listen to your employees, your coworkers and your clients. After processing what they have told you, provide guidance and answers that you feel will keep the company moving in the right direction.
5) Notice Your Employees’ Strengths
Chances are you’re not the only introvert on the team. You don’t want your employees to overlook your strengths, so make sure you don’t overlook the strengths of some of your employees who may be wary to socialize or share their thoughts. When you take the time to recognize the strengths of each team member, you will be more able to give them the right tasks. When you assign people the tasks they’ll do best, the company will be able to make more progress.
Being an introvert in the workplace can be tough, and it can be even more difficult when you’re in a leadership position. Don’t ever feel that your introversion makes you an incapable leader. If you follow the steps on this list, you’ll be able to lead your team to success.