When you think of a managerial role, you probably envision someone with extrovert qualities who is outspoken, confident, and decisive. You may assume that a manager must be someone who is capable of interacting with lots of different people. While extroverts can and do make fine managers, introverts should not be overlooked for their ability to lead as well. Though introverts may not be as outgoing and assertive as extroverts, they tend to care deeply about individuals and they value the thoughts and opinions of others. They also tend to be creative thinkers, careful observers, excellent listeners, and very perceptive, all of which are valuable leadership qualities. Introverted managers are needed just as much as extroverts to balance out the workplace. They bring a different set of skills and abilities to the job and offer new ways of motivating employees. Here are some of the best tips for becoming an effective introverted manager.
Hold Regular One-on-One Meetings
Introverted managers may not thrive as well in a group meeting where the stronger personalities are more likely to speak up and take over the meeting. That’s why it is important for introverted leaders to communicate with team members in a one-on-one setting. This can help them gather valuable feedback from each team member while also learning more about their strengths and weaknesses. Not only do one-on-one meetings make it easier for introverted leaders to get to know their team members, but it’s also a great opportunity to provide purposeful coaching.
Build Genuine Relationships with Employees
An introverted leader will not influence people with their outgoing personality. Rather, employees want to follow them because they are empathetic, intellectual, and thoughtful. Therefore, get to know your team members well and let them know how much you value their contributions. Show that you have a vested interest in their success and you are willing to help them achieve their career goals.
Be an Attentive Listener
One of the biggest strengths of an introvert is their ability to listen fully before speaking. This helps you gather helpful insight from your team that you can then use to become a better leader. Employees also appreciate being heard, rather than dealing with someone who is always reactive. Active listening is a very valuable skill, as it allows you to carefully consider every viewpoint.
Spend Time in Thought
Unlike extroverts who tend to make decisions more quickly, introverts like to really think about decisions before jumping right into anything. By spending time carefully pondering new ideas for a period of time, an introvert might make better business decisions.
Lead From Behind
Introverted leaders often struggle with fully stepping into their role because they are used to being surrounded by extroverted people who lead from the front. Give yourself permission to quietly direct from behind. You don’t have to be front and center to get people to follow you. A great leader cultivates an environment that encourages and empowers others to step up and lead. Your leadership style is more collaborative, and helps to equip a team with the tools needed to succeed.
Learn to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
No one says you have to transform yourself into the head cheerleader, but challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone when the need arises and take a more visible role. You can accomplish this through coaching and mentoring to help you gain a better awareness of your strengths.