The words “introvert” and “leader” do not often go hand-in-hand. If you were to look at any online personality test or profile, it almost always suggests that the leader position is reserved for the extrovert. However, this assumption is not supported by historical facts or with any real evidence in general.
The truth is that introverts can make excellent leaders in their career of choice. Of course, they have their own obstacles to overcome that are unique to their situation and personality, but overcoming such obstacles actually strengthens their leadership skills. Here are a few of the key reasons why introverts can make such great leaders.
Thought Precedes Action
A leader must constantly make important decisions. Decisions that affect not only themselves, but their followers, team members, and company. Extroverts do think before making decisions, but rarely with the same degree of determination as an introvert.
An introvert feels most at home in solitary thought. Thus, they excel when it comes to the decision-making process. They will take the time needed to consider a decision deeply and all of the possible outcomes of their action. Only after taking the time to think will they take action, which is why their actions often prove beneficial for their team and company.
Leaders That Can Follow
Most people assume that introverts take the position of follower while extroverts take the role of leader. To a small degree, that is true. Introverts almost always have the capacity to be a follower, but that does not mean they should not be in the lead. A great leader must also be a great follower.
Introverts understand the position and mindset of their followers or team members. This allows them to show empathy. This empathy also allows them to step back for a moment and give their team members a chance to lead.
Letting team members lead, allows for new and unique ideas. It also helps strengthen the leadership skills of the team members. After all, some of them may be leaders in the future.
An Introvert Knows How To Listen
A great leader needs to have the ability to listen intently. This means listening to followers, team members, customers, and even leaders that are above them in the company. A leader must be able to take in all of this information and create solutions that appeal to as many people as possible.
Introverts are hardwired to listen more often than speak. They then use everything they have heard during their decision-making process. This leads to results that please multiple parties rather than just one or the other.
Finally, they also have the ability to engage in deep and meaningful conversations thanks to this listening capability. By doing so they are able to identify problems that were not originally on the surface, thus improving the decision-making process significantly.
Introverts are no less capable of being great leaders than extroverts. As a matter of fact, their unique personality traits make them ideal leaders. They are great listeners, empathetic towards their team members and take the time to think carefully before making decisions.
Andrea Taylor is the Coaching Support Director at http://www.lifecoachhub.com a site that networks life coaches with individuals looking to make improvements in their own personal and professional lives. The site provides useful information, advice and tips about life coaching, as well as providing a platform where coaches can network, start or continue to develop their own business.