Leadership roles traditionally go to extroverts, on the assumption that an outgoing personality is needed to guide and motivate employees and encourage teamwork. Inc’s Melissa Thompson, founder Harcourt Health, considers the assumption and stands up for introverts everywhere!
1. Better Focus
2. The Introvert in you
Social scientists say that up to one third of the adult population are actually introverts, and that many who display an extroverted personality are just ‘giving the public what it wants.’ They, too, long for some quiet time away from the crowd to think things through. According to self proclaimed introvert Ian Wright, founder of Merchant Machine, “I spent several decades trying to fit my personality into the traditional leadership role of outgoing buddy-buddy. I recently decided to be more authentic with my interactions as an introvert, and have seen tremendous growth in myself but more importantly in my team.”
3. Listening Skills
We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Introverts excel at listening to their co-workers and supervisors. They tend to absorb while others are expelling ideas and opinions. They then work those other opinions and ideas into a workable consensus that represents a fair and balanced concept of what the group needs and wants to achieve goals and complete projects in a timely manner.
4. Introverts can be Very Creative
When push comes to shove and ideas are in short supply, it is often the introvert in the group that comes up with the most creative solution to a problem. Why? Because they have spent the most time reviewing in their own minds the pros and cons of every proposition that has come before them, and have also spent time alone doing original research to help them better understand what can be done, and how to do it. Great artists, such as Da Vinci or Rembrandt, always worked alone in their workshops before sharing their ideas with their assistants. And you don’t have to be a genius to find working alone very stimulating and productive. After all, you can’t take your team home with you, and there comes a point where texting and phoning become counterproductive.
5. Introverts Don’t Play the Blame Game
Think about it — how much energy is wasted every business day in worrying about what to do if something goes wrong, or who to blame if the project comes in over budget? Everyone plays the blame game to some extent, but introverts are less likely to make it an obsession than extroverts. As noted above, they tend to focus on the situation at hand — their time is largely spent in smoothing things out and creating better ways to accomplish team and company goals. And when something goes wrong they are liable to take some of the blame without tantrums — they just go back to work, looking for ways to learn from their mistakes.
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