While it’s true that a naturally sociable personality and taste for the spotlight can come in handy when it comes to getting people’s attention, it doesn’t mean that extroverts are predisposed to be better leaders. The truth is that introverts make amazing leaders for many reasons that include good communications skills and a tendency to think things through before they act.

Introverts make amazing leaders- Photo Credit - Elena Koycheva-Unsplash
Introverts make amazing leaders- Photo Credit – Elena Koycheva-Unsplash

Introversion, however, is often seen as something that can stand in the way of a good leader and their ability to connect to their team.

There are many myths surrounding introverts in leadership roles. Some think that an introverted personality is enough for people to shy away from these roles and their responsibilities and that introverts lack the people skills necessary to succeed, communicate, and collaborate with their teams ––none of which are true. And while extroverted leaders have strengths that shouldn’t be overlooked, there are certain environments where introverts can fit those leading roles better.

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Do Introverts Make Better Leaders?

It’s not really about who is better but there is no denying that introverts make amazing leaders. According to a 2021 survey by Truity Psychometrics, around 50% of working professionals in the U.S. identify as introverts. And while many of them have been told they lack what they need to become leaders, a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that being an extrovert is not as an important in leadership positions as we thought. In fact, leadership seems to be more about being able to communicate successfully with everyone than it is about commanding attention.

Research done by the National Library of Medicine shows that introverts and extroverts process information differently; introverts, for example, learn by observing and tend to think before they speak, considering things and how they communicate them more carefully. An introvert who has learned how to use these observational and communicational strengths to their advantage can make a strategic leader who knows how to talk and inspire every member of their team. In the end, what makes a great leader is not defined by how outgoing they are or not, but by their ability to build connections with a team.

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Introverts have amazing skills for leadership- Photo Credit- Brooke Cagle-Unsplash
Introverts have amazing skills for leadership- Photo Credit- Brooke Cagle-Unsplash

Why Do Introverts Make Amazing Leaders?

  1. Thoughtful communicators: Introverts tend to listen to conversations not just to come up with an answer, but to understand the entire context laid out before them. They pay attention to details and process the information before responding to a question, which means their input and decisions have usually been carefully considered.
  2. Improve team performance: Introverts are more likely to approach their team one-on-one, making each team member feel valued and heard. This can inspire even those introvert team members to share their opinions and input, making it easier for them to collaborate with a team.
  3. Allow others to shine: Introverts will usually be happier to step aside, delegate, and let other members of the team shine. As someone who would rather stay out of the spotlight, introverts can make great leaders while they help their employees discover their strengths.
  4. Build deep connections: Some introverts tend to be a bit more empathic, which allows for more open relationships with their employees and deeper connections. Employees respond positively when they know their ideas, concerns and fears are being heard.
  5. Calm under pressure: Their tendency to step back and analyze the data means that many introverts can calmy handle stressful situations. This can also be true about many extroverts, but introverts are less likely to panic and rush before considering their choices.

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Although many leaders are extroverts, introverts make amazing leaders as well.
Although many leaders are extroverts, introverts make amazing leaders as well.

Some Advice for Introverts

  1. Embrace who you are: Are you an introvert? Embrace it! Know your strengths. Don’t try to be an extrovert and know your own limits, especially when it comes to scheduling face-to-face time with employees and other long meetings.
  2. Share your ideas: Write down your thoughts and share them during those meetings, jotting them down will help you word everything more clearly and reduce anxiety when it comes to speaking to your team. Embrace communicating with everyone through emails when you feel like you can spare a big meeting.
  3. Be clear: Considering things so carefully can make it hard to communicate your thought process clearly so write down things, read them aloud, and make sure you’re being clear with your input, feedback, and work demands.
  4. Be hands-on: Think about hands-on approaches about your ideas and observations. You can delegate but you also must be willing to get your hands “dirty” and help your team get the best results.
Aline Cerdan Verástegui

Aline Cerdan Verástegui

Mexico City-born freelance writer, translator, ghostwriter, editor and Red Shoe Movement contributor with a love of live music and graphic novels. Has collaborated with Yahoo!, Blouin Artinfo, Yahoo! en Español, Savvy Heels, Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) among others.

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