Somewhere long time ago, I heard a belief that introverted person is not being able to lead, driven by the persuasion that introverts are hiding from the groups of people. That is something that I absolutely don’t agree with. There are a bunch of extremely famous and successful introverted leaders in the world, but it’s not something that press people would point out as life’s important facts. So, why would anyone bother how they behave in their closest and private circles, and what is even happening in their heads?
Some of the famous introverted leaders are Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Jimi Hendrix, David Letterman, Leonardo DiCaprio, J. K. Rowling, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates who also once said “I think introverts can do quite well. If you’re clever you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area.”, and much more.
The vibes that I was receiving from my surroundings were not quite supportive towards introverts. By being one of them, I could feel isolation and misunderstanding, which also would trigger insecurity leading towards the belief that I only belong to the working environment where I don’t have to be in the contact with other people. I think lots of introverts get stuck under the beliefs like this one, and they lose the possibility to use all the advantages of their talents and personality that could provoke their success and help the society.
I would like to point out 4 things that show how introverts behave in leading and dealing with problems or people. Have in mind that my words are not saying that this is the better approach or behavior than when it comes to extroverts. It’s different, and both types have their benefits in various situations and surroundings.
#1 Introverts listen deeply and learn from it.
Avoiding chit-chat that defines social gatherings, introverts tend to have longer and deeper conversations where they tend to listen carefully what the other person is saying. It is much easier when talking only to one or two people at the same time, and that’s why they might appear cold in the groups of people, but when it comes to quiet place, they are great in observation and receiving the information. That is very important in understanding the problem from various sides, which benefits to a successful solution, where the majority, or all the participants, will be satisfied, or at least, heard and included in the solving process.
Introverted leaders also think before they speak, meaning that they consider other’s comments carefully, and they stop and reflect before responding. Learning by listening, not talking, is a trait that introverts consistently demonstrate. In fact, the most powerful person in the room is often the quietest.
#2 Introverts focus on depth.
When there is a project or a problem, introverts like to dig deep, delving into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. These are the situations where deeper meaningful conversations help in revealing the solutions. Introverts also like to take time to think and learn about it and seek for adequate answers.
This behavior also helps to keep the focus on one, or not so many, ideas which benefit making things done one at the time. It prevents from the clutter of ideas, and from losing motivation.
#3 Introverts show humility more often.
It is a big possibility that they will often show their humbleness to the others. They are many times very aware of their possibilities and what are their limitations. Because of a lot of their inner questionings, introverts seem to be very conscious of their actions, and that entails the ability to acknowledge their mistakes and imperfections. That is a big plus when it comes to going ahead in business and life.
Being humble also indicates an openness to hear new ideas or receive contradictory information, which shows that everybody in the group is definitely part of the team.
#4 Introverts are very creative and have calm energy.
By spending lots of time in “their own world”, and giving themselves the privilege to focus and analyze about one problem without rushing, introverts tend to find solutions in many ways. By giving it more of the time, there are likely to find highly creative and effective answers. This approach often creates a culture of innovation within the businesses.
Introverts are calm and collected. Their calming energy creates an atmosphere of trust and safety for their team. That kind of atmosphere calms chaos and high emotions among members of the team.
So, I would like to encourage all the introverts to look at your strengths, and if you feel like you have a sense of leadership within you, look how you can express it and use it.
It’s just a myth that extroverts are more effective leaders than introverts. No matter what your character type, leverage your strengths to lead your business and team. My philosophy is to focus on your strengths, improve them, and take them as your tool to success, instead of spending time on “fixing” your “weak spots”.