How to Have a Big Impact And Harness Your Quiet Ego

Mentoring Melbourne

How to Be a Quiet Leader with a Quiet Ego and Have a Big Impact 

Often when we think of leaders, we picture them as outgoing and very vocal. That’s not always the case. Some of history’s most famous leaders were introverts, and their power lay in their quietness.

Obama, Zuckerberg and even Einstein were all introverts yet they’ve left their marks on the world as leaders in their fields.

What is it that makes a quiet ego so powerful? And how can a quiet person become a strong and inspired leader?

What is an introvert?

The first thing you need to understand is that introverts, too, can be loud and visible. The term “introvert” refers to a person’s preference and not necessarily their behaviour.

In classic Myer-Briggs (MBTI) terms, introversion refers to an orientation towards the inner world as a source of energy. In other words, extroverts draw energy from being with people while introverts find their energy within themselves. Introverts can be very social and enjoy a good party, but at some stage, they will need to spend time alone so they can reconnect with themselves and recharge their energy.

It’s important to realise that there are degrees of introversion, as there are extraversion. We all fall somewhere along the continuum between the two, so it’s not always easy to spot a person’s preference.

An introvert’s special skills.

Both introverts and extroverts have special gifts that allow them to make great leaders. Sometimes, though, the introvert’s skills can be overlooked because of their quiet manner. These are just a few of the skills an introvert can draw on.

Listening: Introverts usually prefer to listen and absorb information which they will process when they are alone. They hear what is being said and take the time to put it into context.

Communicating: When an introvert speaks, it’s the result of quiet deliberation. The words have been thoughtfully considered to make a point. In particular, many introverts excel in written communication, enjoying the process of picking and choosing the right words.

Reading people: Introverts pick up on details such as body language which allows them to have a deeper understanding of what is happening for others. They have an empathy which wins them loyalty.

An eye for detail: In many cases, introverts have a great eye for detail. They are focused on what is happening around them, as they gather information to think through. Often, they pick up on more details than they themselves realise.

Each of these skills is critical when dealing with people in the workplace.

Harnessing an introvert’s leadership power.

Whether you’re the introverted leader or you have introverts as emerging leaders in your team, you can harness that special power in these ways.

Make space. Introverts need time and space in which to think. You will help them make the best decisions by not pressuring for an immediate response.  Allow them a period of quiet time to process their thoughts.

Pay attention. Even if you can’t see the point of the suggestion, remember that introverts have probably spotted details you haven’t. If you don’t understand, don’t dismiss it. Ask for the reasons behind the suggestion.

Give them responsibility. Because of their considered approach, introverts make excellent project leaders. They are calm and deliberate and take into account the big picture, rather than reacting to small stimuli. They will lead steadily and with foresight.

Let them run with it. Introverts will follow a process through to a solid conclusion. That means completing projects, fulfilling targets and achieving goals, all without loose ends.

Put them in charge. Show your trust and put your introverts in leadership roles. Their communication and people skills will let them build a solid and loyal team, with a clear vision of the goal.

Of course, these are all generalisations, but they paint an accurate picture of the introvert as leaders. Don’t dismiss someone because they are quiet. Instead, draw out their observations and recommendations because they will pick up on many of the angles non-introverts might miss.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What tips can you share with us about the introvert personality and leadership? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you raise the bar on your performance by helping you harness your power as a quiet leader.

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