Strengths and weaknesses that make introverted leaders advantageous

August 09, 2021

What are the strengths and witnesses of introverted leaders

Research from Harvard Business Review showed that introverts are more capable leaders in complex and unpredictable situations. In fact, some of the most successful or admired leaders, of past and present, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, are introverts.

Introverted leaders are motivated by productivity, not ambition. They build more meaningful connections, and they solve problems with thoroughness rather than in haste. These myriad leadership characteristics make them successful introverts.

Although introvert leadership might lack the assertiveness that many leaders possess, they typically have far more compassion than extroverts that hold leadership positions. Compassion and empathy are both key introvert strengths when it comes to being a good boss.

The strengths of introverted leaders that make them special

Introvert leaders are mostly good at written communication, problem-solving, and looking in the box. They aren’t really reserved, quiet, or poor public speakers. On the contrary, successful introverts debunked these entrepreneurship myths and proved why introverts make good leaders.

Your introverted employees, on the other hand, might need some coaching on why stepping outside of their comfort zones is beneficial to the business and their careers. Introverts in managerial positions may need to be reminded to consistently campaign for their employees, which extroverts are best at.

Ability to empathize

The main strength of an introverted leader is the ability to empathize. Introverts as leaders are more listeners, and that helps them understand their employees and clients more. Even though some still consider that introverted leaders are an enigma, they are proven for being the best listeners and are extremely considerate and empathetic towards their employees which makes them better leaders.

They think first, talk later

Introverted leaders think before they speak. They consider others’ comments carefully even in casual conversations and they stop and reflect before responding. Learning by listening, not talking, is why introverts make good leaders.

Introverted leaders are able to reflect on decisions before acting because they take private time to reflect. This is opposed to outgoing extroverts who may think aloud and act quickly while surrounded by direct reports.

Attention to detail

They may be quieter but they’re taking everything in and that leads to a better understanding of situations. That attention helps them to be on top of the important details and also connect with
employees in a deeper, more meaningful way. That in turn can make them feel more valued and lead to a more harmonious and happy workforce.

Actions speak louder than words

The phrase actions speak louder than words is true in many areas, but probably no more than in business leadership. This fits in perfectly with introverts as leaders. You don’t have to be overly talkative or in some cases personal, you can simply lead by your actions. And as the phrase dictates, the actions you take are almost always more powerful than anything you might have to say.

They do not require external validation

Introverts often depend on their own internal compass to determine if they are making the correct choice or doing well. When introverts think their thoughts are sound, they do not step down or seek validation from others. Though they appreciate external recognition, it is not a necessary part of the equation and should not establish or detract from the end objective. Introvert leaders have a distinct vision of what is worthwhile doing and what is better left alone.

The weaknesses of introverted leaders that might pull them back

Speaking of introverted leaders, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is probably their weaknesses and their prejudices for them being successful leaders. Even though we already established the great values of introverts as leaders, let’s see what’s the negative hype about. Can introverts be leaders even with these characteristics?

Struggle in communicating

Struggling with small talks makes team meetings awkward. Hence, silence is a big weakness for an introverted leader. Struggling in communicating might be a big problem during meetings with colleagues or negotiations with partners.

Also, introverts as leaders will find it difficult to build connections which is a great factor in doing business. Since they are more likely to be alone, communication and interaction inside the organization will also be affected.

Lack of assertion

It can be good to let things play out or not always be the loudest voice in the room. But in order not to be labeled as a leader with poor qualities, there are times when you need to take charge, and that can sometimes be a struggle for introvert leaders. That lack of assertiveness then becomes a hindrance, especially as a leader in a working environment.

Being unapproachable

Yes, an introverted leader is normally viewed as being unapproachable. But that doesn’t have to be your case. By simply spending a bit more time with your team and telling them that you are not unapproachable, you can show them you’re a really good listener that is more interested in hearing what they have to say than speaking yourself.

Not building a strong company culture

Companies with strong cultures generally have engaging leaders with big personalities. Their positivity trickles down to the workforce and can really help to energize the masses and set the tone for the company. But, introverted leaders don’t really have this electric power. However, introverts as leaders show other qualities that are even more enticing for some people.

Humbleness

The worst trait of an introverted leader can be an attitude that is a little too humble. In a business position, especially if you’re selling a product – you often have to convince people of the companies power and greatness.

Can’t always handle a group of people

Introverted leaders are not always masters in handling groups of people. They tend to break down because of the overwhelming feeling from numerous persons in their comfort space. Although they can lead, sometimes they like working independently, forgetting that they have a team by their side. And it is a weak link in their leadership because competitors could target this vulnerability, leading to the company’s downfall.

Conclusion

Anyone with any personality type can find success as a leader. A leader is not determined by how you present yourself socially, but rather by the values and beliefs you have as a person. Introverted leaders can be just as ambitious as someone who is not. This ambition is what marks true leaders, not one’s ability to be outspoken.

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