Introverts have certain natural traits and strengths that help them to excel as leaders. When they lean into these traits, introverts can thrive in leadership positions.
- They are great listeners. Introverts are commonly told they are good listeners. Introverts don’t feel the need to be quick to interrupt or offer their own opinions. Instead, they sit back and listen, and the other person feels heard. The other person feels more comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns. Extroverts can be great listeners, they simply must be more intentional.
- When they make a decision it is well thought out. Introverts like to spend time researching and thinking things through before making a decision. This does not mean that introverts never make the wrong decision, however, they can never be accused of making a hasty decision.
- They give credit to others. Introverts would rather not be in the spotlight. Therefore, they are quick to give credit to those on their team. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and introverted leaders do that well.
- They “get” the introverts who work for and with them.
Everyone has introverts on their team, and the introverted leader understands their thought process and communication style. Their introverted team members feel understood as a result. Sometimes, introverted leaders even get better results than extroverted leaders. Harvard Business School conducted a study and found that when introverted leaders led proactive teams, they had better results and profits. When introverted leaders led more passive teams, they had less results and profits than when an extroverted leader led those teams. This makes sense, as passive teams are looking to their leader to step up and lead, which the extrovert does quickly and with ease. Proactive teams, on the other hand, take the initiative to get results, while the introverted leader supports them as they achieve success.
Have you worked for a stellar introverted leader? What traits made this person excel as an introverted leader?