There’s a gross misconception that introverts are anti-social; this cannot be further from the truth. The reality is, unlike extroverts, introverts get drained, not fueled, by social interactions. This doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy being social, it just takes a lot more effort on their part, and a need to refuel afterwards by having some alone time.
What does this look like in the workplace where networking and socializing are key in helping to advance in business? Leverage the introversion!
1. Cut the Small Talk
Introverts do not like small talk but prefer to engage in meaningful conversation. This can be an extreme strength in becoming a leader. With more millennials in the workforce who are looking to have meaning and purpose in and out of the office, a manager who can intentionally engage with staff will have a leg up. Research has shown that workers want to be seen, heard, and respected. If a leader who is introverted can create this space for their work staff, it could be beneficial to decreasing turnover, and increasing productivity within your group.
This skill is also beneficial when it comes to networking. You do not have to connect with everyone in the room but be strategic and select a few in which you can engage in meaningful dialogue. This creates a lasting impact with the person you have a one-on-one relationship with, rather than gaining a handful of business cards and forgetful conversations that are fruitless.
2. Elevate the Quiet and Calm
Because introverts are less chatty than their extroverted peers, their quiet demeanor can provide a sense of calm. Being cool and collected are great qualities to have as a leader. This calming presence can help decrease stress and allows for others to have a voice at the table. No one likes a boss who is loud and takes over meetings without leaving room for input.
3. Sagacious Solitude
As stated before, introverts get energized when they are alone. This provides the quiet they need to hear their own thoughts, gain insight, and focus on the task at hand. The ability to not get distracted is a great advantage as a leader. Albeit, we encourage “think tanks”. The best think tank for an introvert is alone in their mind and contemplating solutions that others may miss.
Introverts may not have the personalities that people first think of when considering leadership roles. They may be less expressive and talkative than their extroverted peers, however they possess great leadership qualities that would make them an asset to any team or organization.
Farah is a psychotherapist and workplace wellness champion who guides individuals and organizations in decreasing symptoms of stress and burnout, elevating their emotional intelligence quotient while improving morale by implementing strategies to create healthier and equitable work culture. To hire Farah as a consultant or to speak at your next event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.