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An Introvert's Guide To Leadership - Career - Nairaland

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An Introvert's Guide To Leadership by chrisbaxtian(m): 8:30pm On Oct 01, 2017
I think a lot of people assume I’m an extrovert because I’m relatively visible in my role at BodeTree and enjoy engaging with people across the board. The truth, however, is that I’m more naturally inclined towards introverted tendencies. I’m more than comfortable keeping to myself and cherish the time I dedicate to quiet introspection.

As humans, we often have a tendency to mistake loudness for confidence, and aggression for strength. As such, extroverts often have an easier time rising to the top of an organization. Once at the top, however, I’ve found that the traits and behaviors most often associated with introverts are the ones that separate successful leaders from failures.

The key for introverted leaders, then, is to take the things they’re naturally good at - deep thinking, empathy, and the ability to listen - and augment those skills with a strategic dose of extroversion. If you’re able to strike the right balance, you’ll develop a leadership style that is uniquely suited for the modern workplace.

Listen and empathize

Leaders who are self-aware and introverted are typically better equipped to listen and empathize with the people with whom they interact. This ability, of course, is an invaluable skill in the modern workplace.

Throughout my six years as CEO, I’ve found that there is almost always more to a story than meets the eye. It’s tempting and, frankly, much easier to take a given problem at face value and hammer home a simple solution. For example, a convenient response to a team member’s underperformance is to say that they simply need to “buck up and do the job.”

However, this approach can easily lead to a tense culture and high turnover. Instead, it’s better to listen and empathize with the individuals in question. Many times, issues like underperformance stem from a lack of communication, unclear goals, or scenarios outside of a person’s control. While this isn't always the case, good leaders explore all options before jumping to such a conclusion.



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