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5 Reasons Why Introverts Make Great Business Leaders

5 Reasons Why Introverts Make Great Business Leaders

It is commonly received wisdom that extroverts must make better business leaders.  After all, extroverts are known for being outgoing and gregarious. They seem to make social connections effortlessly. They aren’t known for hiding their light under a bushel.

It seems only natural that they would make good business leaders. They aren’t shy when it comes to making their thoughts known and they seem to have the charisma to get people to follow them. You shouldn’t discount introverts though.

Introverts are commonly thought of as shy and socially awkward. It seems like they are low energy and uninspiring at the first glance.  How could someone like that compete in the boisterous arena of business in today’s climate? Networking is critical. Charm and glib talk seem to rule the day.

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Surely introverts are ill equipped to be good business leaders. Not so fast! Surprisingly, the received wisdom has lately been turned on its head by evidence that shows that introverts actually make superior leaders. In this article we will explore five reasons why introverts are superior to extroverts as business leaders.

  1. Introverts are Humbler than Extroverts

Studies have shown that the trait of humility is more prevalent in introverts than extroverts. While it may not seem like humility is a trait that we associate with business leaders, it is actually quite a good trait for managing people.  Why? Humility is associated with the desire to be of service to others.

That desire inspires business leaders to help their subordinates develop their talents and skills. That is good news for business. You see, when workers feel appreciated they want to continue working for the company. When workers are given the opportunity to grow and develop new skills they provide more value to their employer.

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  1. Introverts Make More Meaningful Connections

It might be true that extroverts are more likely to socialize and make professional connections  They hand out more business cards and get more business cards in return but is that really better  Introverts might be a bit more difficult to get to know and slower to open up to people but, when they do, it is perhaps more meaningful.

Those connections can be even more valuable than a lot casual connections  It is about quality and not quantity.

  1. Introverts Internalize Information Better

What do both introverts and extroverts do when in a group situation? Typically, you will see extroverts at the center of attention (or trying to be) talking a lot. Where is the introvert? Usually they are the one in the corner, quietly observing the proceedings and reserving commentary for when they really have something to say.

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This can make a big difference.  Introverts observe more and internalize more. That can be a big advantage. Observing more means that you understand people better. Internalizing more means that you have a deeper understanding of the facts that you hear when talking to people.

  1. Introverts Often Have Steadier Personalities

Extroverts tend to have big personalities. This translates into having more charm and being outgoing and friendly. It also translates into having bigger tempers. Introverts, on the other hand, often tend to have calmer and more even temperaments. This can be a big advantage for leaders.

People who are introverts might be accused of being dull and low energy but they can also be seen as calm and in control of themselves. That self-control helps them to stay in control in the middle of a crisis and make rational decisions. After all, as the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

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  1. Good Listeners Make Good Leaders

It might seem like the purpose of leaders is to give orders and do all the talking but listening is just as important. Good listeners understand people better. They are more open to other points of view. Extroverts often spend a lot of time extolling what their own views are but less time listening to other people talk.

Extroverted leaders often chafe when they have to lead people who show initiative because they often try to do everything themselves. Introverted leaders are more open to subordinates who show initiative. That is something that gives introverts a big advantage as leaders. They are very effective when they have a team of independent people who are good at their jobs.

To conclude Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, put it this way, “Most inventors and engineers I have met are like me, they’re shy and they live in their heads.They work best when they are alone, and can control an invention’s design. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take: work alone. You’re going to be able to design revolutionary products and features.”

The myth that introverts are less effective leaders than their extroverted counterparts is just that. Leverage your personality strengths to lead your business, no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on.

More by this author

Andreas Jones

Business Growth Strategist, Consultant and Coach.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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