It’s a common misconception that introverts lack strong communication skills. While they may commonly shy away from small talk, there are many introverts who are articulate, expressive and excellent leaders. Being an introvert does not mean that someone lacks social skills or any necessary qualities to thrive in the workplace and beyond; introverts simply prefer smaller social circles with deep, intimate relationships, and they require more alone time than an extrovert to “recharge” after socializing.
However, despite their need for a healthy dose of solitude, many introverts can make excellent leaders. In fact, being an introvert has some advantages that may make some of them even stronger leaders than their extroverted counterparts.
Introverts Know How to Listen
Extroverts tend to converse more, so they spend less time listening to their conversation partner and more time sharing their own thoughts and opinions. While it’s important for a leader to speak their mind clearly and effectively, extroverts sometimes miss subtle cues that an introvert immediately picks up on. Empathy is a sought after trait in leadership and can be advantageous when it comes to understanding their team.
Introverts Strive for Depth
A company that wants to take its leadership into the 21st century will do well to hire introverts as leaders. Rather than focus solely on objectives, introverts are deeply sensitive people who will take a company’s values to heart and strive to bring them out in their everyday interactions with employees. Rather than fixating solely on numbers, for example, an introverted leader is likely to push their team to work for a deeper meaning.
Introverts Think Before They Act
Some leaders are too quick to react and ultimately create a barrier between themselves and their team. Introverts are highly in tune with themselves, and they’re likely to take a moment of respite and thoroughly consider a situation before they respond. This level of sincerity is reflected in everything they do, including how they lead a team and the quality of the work they produce.
Introverts also have a way of being present in a conversation that makes people feel more comfortable opening up to them. Because they will respond from the heart and not just in the heat of the moment, introverts tend to be empathetic, authentic leaders that inspire others to exhibit the same qualities.
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