Sacha Cabral (@sachacabral)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday January 20, 2016 – Introverts can get a bad rap. Typically misunderstood due to their quiet nature, introverts lack the showmanship and spotlight personality of an extrovert.
How do you know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Go to a cocktail party. When you come home do you feel exhausted or energized? If you feel exhausted, chances are you are an introvert. The latter means you’re more than likely an extrovert. Extroverts feed off the energy of other people while introverts recharge their batteries on their own. But that’s not the only thing that separates introverts from extroverts. Introverts are highly sensitive, deep thinkers who tend to avoid the spotlight. For this reason, introverts have been frequently misjudged by their extroverted counterparts as shy, uninterested or even boring.
In the workplace, the extrovert has typically been more likely to be promoted or highlighted simply because they speak up, stand in the spotlight and enjoy attention. Introverts have been overlooked for promotions and leadership positions as management feels that they don’t have “it”. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Many successful business personalities are introverts and it has been their introverted characteristics which propelled their success. These include Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, and more.
When it comes to leading a team, extroverts seem like an obvious choice as they enjoy being around people. However, introverts make great leaders. Here’s why.
Introverts are great listeners. They listen intently and deeply before putting together an answer. This allows for a more intelligent answer and a deeper understanding of the needs of their team members. It also makes team members feel heard. It’s so important to give your team members the space and time to say what they need to before firing off a response. Introverts get that.
They like to share the spotlight
Introverts hate being in the spotlight. As leaders, they understand that this is a necessary part of their role but they prefer to share it with those around them. This can empower team members and strengthens team unity. After all, your people are your brand. Turning them into brand ambassadors not only increases your company’s influence, it also makes your team more engaged.
Anyone can be a boss; few people can be a leader. Bosses bark orders and focus on the what while leaders influence their team and focus on the why. Employees want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel heard and understood. Due to their highly sensitive nature, introverts take more time to understand their team – what motivates them, what their learning style is and other characteristics.
They’re deep thinkers
Introverts spend more time in their head thinking things through than their extroverted counterparts. Their deep thought process causes them to be problem solvers. An introverted leader who knows how to marry action with deep thinking, is unstoppable.
They focus on we and not me
Being that introverts are highly sensitive, they typically don’t want to leave anyone out. While they have to develop their communication style, they are focused on keeping everyone together. An introverted leader prioritizes the need to keep the team together which increases employee engagement and empowerment.
Sacha C. is a life coach, writer and speaker who works with emerging entrepreneurs and dream chasers to monetize their talent. She authors a weekly blog at www.sachac.com. Her topics include entrepreneurship, marketing, motivation, and interviews with featured entreprneurs.