As an introvert, the idea of leading a team or being in a leadership position can be daunting. But, leadership is not reserved for only the extroverted individuals in the room. In fact, introverts can make some of the best leaders.
With a few tips and tricks, introverts can successfully lead and excel in their roles.
Here are 5 key points to help introverts develop their leadership skills:
- Practice active listening
You may be great at processing an issue and coming up with a thorough solution. However, you may shy away from sharing your thoughts if others have already presented their ideas. It is important to challenge yourself to share your ideas, as this not only gets people thinking from new perspectives, but it also helps you uncover others who resonate with your strategy.
- Look for inspiration
Identify a few coworkers or executives in your company who have the traits or tendencies you’re looking to develop. Reach out to them and learn from their process in areas you want to better yourself in. Consider scheduling regular meetings to discuss your progress and gain guidance on your leadership journey.
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
In any leadership role, it’s crucial to manage up and be a voice for your team. Introverted people can be so zoned in on something that sometimes they can seem distant until spoken to. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a process that starts and ends with the choices we make and the way we fuel our minds.
- Prepare speaking points before meetings
To avoid leaving a meeting feeling unsatisfied with the points you left out, prepare your speaking points beforehand. Try writing down the points you want to make, however creative you want. You can leave it open-ended for questions on each idea and be honest that this is the approach you’re taking. The trick is to execute your points in a way that comes off as understood and engaging, rather than memorized.
- Be kind to yourself
Building confidence and developing leadership skills take time and consistency. Just like going to the gym, you won’t notice a change after the first few days, but with consistency, you’ll start to feel that power within you to transform. Trust that your mind cherry-picks each statement you give for validation and use the knowledge wisely. Feed it with affirmations that are good for your soul and growth, even if you don’t fully believe in them yet. Do it time and time again until you get there.
Nicolette Ganiaris is a Search Consultant specializing in biotech and life sciences recruiting.