Did you also think introverts are too shy to be a leader? Well, think twice because introverts can make good leaders than most of the extroverts out there!
While you may have thought that leadership requires confidence, energy, and people dealing skills which extroverts are more apt at, research published in Harvard Business Review says otherwise. The research suggests that introverts are most capable leaders in complex and unpredictable settings. While Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, says that introverts will make better leaders in the future with proactive teams where people will bring in initiatives and ideas.
Introverts are not only capable of leadership but might do better than their extroverted partners. Below are 10 reasons that tell us why introverts make good leaders that will certainly invalidate all your previous assumptions about introverts.
1- They are calm and don’t panic under stress
The first advantage that introverts have over extroverts in leadership roles is that they stay calm in stressful situations. Introverts are never the ones who would panic around and start fidgeting in the whole office. Rather, they are calm and collected by nature.
This one quality of them makes them highly desirable for the role of a leader. As a leader when faced with a difficult situation you have to maintain your calm so that your employees don’t freak out too. Having someone who loses their spirit quickly and isn’t able to see things through proves to be fatal for the whole organization.
Also, according to Research Gate publication maintaining your calm helps you exercise responsibility, trust, and reliability. A leader has to act as the captain of the ship. However, if the captain starts panicking then they can neither think clearly nor provide direction. Though, sometimes introverts are also stressed out when they see someone around them anxious. However, introverts never let their worry show off through their emotions which extroverts can’t help with. Overall introverts are far better at maintaining their composure in stressful times than most extroverts out there.
Related; How to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations
2- They are great listeners
As introverts never like being the center of attention, therefore, they don’t like talking much. And as a leader, you not only have to talk but listen more often to the perspectives of other people that make the difference.
A good leader can listen to the opinions of his employees and consumers. One who considers the feedback of clients and also takes into consideration their criticism.
Introverts not only listen to the words of other people but as they are great observers they also listen to the unsaid things. They can judge what the other person is feeling no matter what they are saying. This gives them immense insight and power as a leader. Their ability to listen to people allows them to work on different and unique ideas which can eventually be fruitful for their company’s success.
Also, observing and allowing others to speak gives them ample time to contribute to the discussion and format their argument. This makes their speech very impactful and everyone in the room gets eager to listen to them.
Introverts also realize that listening to other people’s opinions is learning something new. While learning leads to both the growth of the leader and the organization.
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3- They let their employees take charge
Introverts never like to steal the show. They never like micromanaging things. Sitting there and sticking their nose in everything is not them. What they do prefer and understand is the importance of guidance though.
Introvert leaders understand the importance of freedom of expression. They know that just as they don’t want to be bothered around with unnecessary intrusion similarly others don’t like nosy bosses. They also understand that as the world is changing and organizations employ more pro-active people it is necessary to let them run the show.
Now, this doesn’t mean that introverted leaders just sit there doing nothing at all. For leaders to set an example it is as important for them to be involved in the tasks as letting their employees exercise their own will. Introvert leaders just understand how to strike a balance between freedom and limitation. They are themselves involved in the tasks at hand but never want to quell the voice of other people around. They understand the importance of guidance. Therefore, introverts prefer guiding instead of dictating their employees which is yet another reason that makes introverts good leaders.
4- They don’t give up easily due to frustration
Introverts are highly relaxed and calm individuals as stated earlier. This trait of being calm in the face of adversity tells a lot about their leadership skills. Being a leader one usually has to take tough decisions and face serious problems. Often, a project needs revision several times. This requires time, effort, and patience. As introverts don’t easily get frustrated or anxious they usually are not the ones to give up on challenges easily.
As Albert Einstein famously said,
‘It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.’Albert Einstein
Not only Einstein but other successful people in the world are mostly introverts. From Bill Gates to Warren Buffet to Elon Musk all of these people are introverts, yet they are creators of successful business giants of the world. Setting up something this massive in scale requires years of consistent and sheer hard work which someone who easily gives up cannot attain.
Therefore, when it comes to sticking with something introverts aren’t someone to lose- heart easily which sets the tone right for the employees as well.
5- They work well in solitude
Most of the famous introverted personalities of the world say that they work well in solitude. These personalities range from CEOs of the world’s commercial and technological giants to writers and actors who have made people go in awe with their work.
As in leadership roles, you are required to solve complex problems, make tough decisions and give direction to your team with your insight. Therefore, leaders are required to ponder over things for hours or even weeks till they arrive at a tangible solution to the problem. As introverts have their best time when they are alone thus they can work well in solitude.
Bill Gates one of the most introverted yet successful billionaires says that working in solitude helps him reflect on things and get creative ideas. Working alone is also very important if you are a creative individual. Creative designers and artists often have to work for hours to overcome their creative roadblocks and come up with new ideas.
Thus, working alone and providing insights which is one of the aspects of leadership roles is not a problem for introverted people as they already enjoy being alone.
6- Introverts take time to make a decision
Introverts never work hastily. As much as they are ultimate perfectionists so are they someone who would take long enough to make a decision. Introverts take their time coming to a decision. They would contemplate every possible outcome of their decision. Only after they are completely satisfied with something would they act in its favor.
This also says much about why their decisions are always up for success. Because they have already chalked out a plan and every possible plan b, c, or d that guarantees the success of their decisions. It is their thoughtful approach to life and the little details they take into consideration that make them good decision-makers and problem solvers.
While you may have thought that introverts are averse to taking risks that is why they take days before deciding anything. However, it is not true. Introverts like being sure about all the risks and challenges that are associated with a decision. They just want to weigh every option available and arrive at the right approach to work things through.
As leaders need to be great decision-makers because the future of the whole organization lies on their shoulders. So, they need to be insightful and be aware of all risks associated with an option. This ability to ponder and contemplate over even the insignificant details guarantees great success for introverts. Thus, introverts make good leaders.
7- They develop meaningful connections
Leadership is all about understanding your employees, fulfilling their needs, and catering to their opinions if they are valid. While you may have thought that introverts don’t enjoy being around people so they might not be effective leaders given their dislike for social interaction. However, introverts do crave meaningful connections and deep relations.
Introverts understand the value of human emotions. They can often sense feelings unspoken. Just as they like working at their own pace to give their best similarly they also know that every employee of theirs craves some level of independence. As leaders, they try their best in understanding the opinions and views of their employees. They know that comfort comes when meaningful relations are built. Introverts also understand that nothing good can be gained from an unhealthy environment based on superficial relationships.
Thus, introverts make sure to understand and develop meaningful relations with each of their employees. They might not be fond of group conversations but they are very much into one-on-one conversations. Introverts as leaders would try their best to understand the needs of their employees and make the atmosphere as comfortable for every employee as possible for them to exhibit their fullest potential.
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8- They are great analysts
As a leader, you have to be a vigilant observer and an excellent analyst. You always have to be one rather ten steps ahead of your team. This is only possible if you sit back and observe the tiny details of a situation. As introverts don’t like stealing the spotlight, they have an amazing time sitting back and observing everything that they possibly can.
This makes introverts superb leaders as you have to be very vigilant while making a decision that can affect your employee’s and organizations’ future at stake.
Introverts tend to see everything rationally and objectively. They can view things from a variety of perspectives, weigh the pros and cons of them and make thoughtful decisions. Because of this characteristic, they make good leaders.
Introvert leaders and office culture
Introvert leaders have a different kind of work culture. They bring their kind of energy to their workplace the crux of which lies in independence and pro-activeness.
As introverts never like being micromanaged, similarly an introverted leader would never like to dictate their subordinates. Instead what they do prefer are pro-activeness and self-sufficiency. They want their employees to come up with better ideas and unique approaches to handling it. With that said, they won’t sit ideally and do nothing. Rather, they believe in guiding their employees instead of dictating them. As a result of this proactive approach to work, their teams would usually come up with well-researched and well-thought-out plans and proposals.
Introvert leaders also take time preparing themselves for any large meeting. As a result, they would never give their employees a sudden task because they are aware of the pressures that come with unexpected deadlines. Moreover, introverted leaders understand the importance of downtime. Therefore, the work schedule in the presence of an introvert leader would accommodate sufficient time for everyone to decompress and refresh.
All in all, introverted leaders understand that every human is different. Their excellent observational skills make them aware of hidden human desires and unsaid emotions. Thus, introverted leaders are great at valuing people for who they are instead of valuing them for what they bring in. They understand that every person brings in their unique perspective to the workplace. Thus, they make the best inclusive leaders for valuing diversity and respecting differences.
If you were thinking about whether you are an introvert personality type then click on the click below to know 11 Traits that make you an introverted person.
For centuries we have been wired to think that the best leaders are the loudest, the unapologetic, and the noticeable ones. However, leadership is more about problem-solving, sound decision making and steadfastness than being loud and prominent. So, for you to think that introverts are not as capable leaders as extroverts, you are seriously misled. In fact, with such characteristics as discussed above, organizations would do better if they help and promote their introverted employees to rise to the position of a leader.