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6 Qualities Of Introverts That Make Them Great Leaders

6 Qualities Of Introverts That Make Them Great Leaders

When you picture a person with leadership qualities, you most likely see an out-going, boisterous, larger-than-life individual who makes his presence felt wherever he goes. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these types of leaders, it’s important not to discount those leaders who are more reserved in nature, but still manage to accomplish great tasks. The quiet introvert has many great leadership qualities, including:

1. They are natural analysts

While extroverts are the ones always attempting to steal the spotlight, introverts are content to sit back and watch situations as they unfold. Think of them as the omniscient narrators of a story: they see everything objectively, and because of this, can see from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, they’re able to weigh the pros and cons of any decision extremely well.

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2. They manage uncertainty well

As I just mentioned, introverts tend to analyze situations ad nauseam. Although you might think this causes them to hesitate much more than would be considered product, it also means they don’t end up shooting from the hip and choosing whatever action first comes to mind.

They also stick with problems when they don’t initially work out for the best, rather than scrap the project and leave it all behind. Leaders need to be persistent, and introverts have the ability to work through any mistakes they may have made in order to find a successful path.

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3. They listen

When a meeting is called, extroverts usually spend most of the time talking, and not enough time listening. Even when they’re silent, they’re usually just waiting for their next turn to speak. Introverts, on the other hand, pay attention to every word that is said at all times. They thrive on hearing other people’s perspectives and learning about their past experiences. In doing so, they’re able to take many different pieces of information into consideration when debating which direction to take the group.

4. They speak seldom, but deliberately

This is not to say that introverts don’t talk at all; they definitely do. But they aren’t the type of people who talk just to hear their own voice. When they open their mouths, it should be a cue for everyone else to get quiet, because they’re going to say something worth hearing. More often than not, people will listen to introverts when they speak, since it happens so infrequently. This gives them the opportunity to know their voice is being heard, no matter how little they say.

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5. They’re humble

Introverts are full of humility. They never look to take credit for a great idea, and are never really offended when criticism comes their way. As a leader, it’s important to share accomplishments with the group, rather than boast about all the great things you as an individual did to make things happen.

And there will certainly be times that those under you disagree with your ideas or decisions. Instead of taking it personally, learn from what your team has to say. Sometimes, the difference between being a boss and being a leader is your ability to let others have a voice.

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6. They work well alone

Although being a leader obviously requires you to work as a team, you’ll also have moments where you let your team collaborate on a project while you close your office doors to get major tasks accomplished. Introverts are, of course, able to spend long periods of time on their own, which allows them to focus on important tasks until they complete them. Even while crunching numbers and working under deadlines, as long as an introvert can find a quiet place to work alone, he’ll be completely at peace.

Featured photo credit: Close Up of The Thinker / Brian Hillegas via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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