In this article, we explore five reasons that introverts are better than extroverts as leaders of companies. While the majority of scholarly studies on the subject tend to provide a head start to extrovert leaders, a growing body of work suggests that introverts also offer significant value.
In fact, some studies suggest that introverts might become better leaders than extroverted ones, particularly if they are leading active employees. Introvert leaders can produce stellar results when they are leading smaller groups of committed, passionate employees. In fact, despite the environment being an extrovert, introverts can succeed at taking over in any organisation. Just because extroverted people are more likely to become high-level leaders does not mean that introverts cannot be successful, either.
Introverts are great leaders, but a lot of people think extroverts are the ones who will be better leaders. It is common to assume that those who are extroverted make better leaders, but introverts are in a unique position to navigate challenges their colleagues may be struggling to do. The myth that introverts are not as effective leaders as their extroverted brothers is not true.
Most introverts have quiet traits that help make them incredible leaders and mentors. Instead of tapping into their unique, introverted genius, some leaders may wind up spending time and energy trying to present themselves as an extrovert, thinking it is the way to make themselves more successful. In reality, great leaders typically possess a mix of both extroverted and introverted qualities and, most importantly, have the self-awareness to know when to embrace each style.
Here are five things you can do to become a successful leader, even if you are introverted. Most of all, learn how to capitalise on those unique traits that make you a better leader.
The notion that extroverted individuals make better leaders comes from the fact that many naturally extroverted people tend to hold positions of power. Stereotypes about what leaders are supposed to be can lead you to wonder whether introverted styles might work. An introverted leader can also lead, mentor, make big decisions, and build strong networks just like them. As they tend to be quiet and prefer to communicate in small groups, it helps them to connect with people more and develop a stronger bond. This authentic relationship-building can make them better leaders as teams would feel highly motivated when working with them.
Moreover, the quiet leadership style is often crucial to achieving long-term business success. If you are an introverted person, then there is no need to worry about it. There are so many ways you can improve your skills to become the best version of yourself. For example, learning more about the Capability Development framework can help you understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses and make decisions accordingly. HBDI is another tool that can assist you in it.
As introverts prefer to stay quiet, people often assume that they do not have excellent communication skills or are not comfortable in their own skin. After all, a common belief is that extroverts are excellent public speakers and great networkers–two things often sought in leaders–and that introverts simply seem to lack them.
The unfortunate part is that an introvert may have trouble accepting their character and identity as such, and they try to push themselves instead into being more extroverted. Just like introvert personalities can have their own drawbacks (such as difficulties working in groups), extroverts also have weaknesses, e.g. they may make rash judgments and statements at times and may come off as overly incisive, noisy, or even arrogant. With these standout characteristics, introverts (whose names only come alongside shy and quiet in a lot of sentences) are perceived as having no shot at the executive field. Research findings suggest that leaders who are more introverted or extroverted will flourish depending on their team’s make-up.
It is also important to not push yourself to become an extroverted leader when you would shine as the introvert that you are. There certainly needs to be an effort to remove stigmas around introverted leaders and stop emphasising extroverts as the de-facto leaders of businesses. While introverts can play the role of an extrovert, there is still a need to find a balance to stay true to oneself. The struggle to appear more like an introvert can take an emotional toll on them. Therefore one key takeaway is to be aware of your natural style and then develop it in a way that it can easily be tailored to respond to changing circumstances.
All in all, introverts can also become great leaders by utilising the unique gifts that they have and working on their weaknesses to help develop a leadership style that helps them to bring out the best in others.