Leading like an introvert

Let’s face it, we aren’t all confident extrovert types.

However, as leaders, and more importantly as women leaders wanting to play a strong role in the organisation, the 2 opposites of quiet thinker types and the extrovert-centric workplace that rewards being out there and on stage, tend to increasingly come together and meet with a jarring whack.

I’ve been fortunate enough to gain insights and experiences through my professional career, that have allowed me to find a happy medium between being a internal thinker, and yet not losing my ability to influence others.

Some little tips I’ve found work for me:

  • Be willing to speak up when it matters – Being naturally reticent doesn’t mean you don’t have any good ideas or questions. By selectively choosing what I want to say when I want to say it, it makes my communications more impactful
  • It’s ok to not always have the answers first time around to give yourself space to think – When others come to me for advice, I use the 80/20 role where I listen to them and ask questions to derive the answers later. People respect you when you take the time to consider their problems
  • There are other ways to network – In this new digital age, not all networking relationships need to start in a face to face environment. Often the first 5 minutes of a introductory conversation is the most intimidating. Utilise networking sites and communities to form those relationships first and then build them in more traditional methods

As a further interesting read on this subject, I thought it useful to share some insights from Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader, and her article on LeanIn.Org



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