As an introvert, your style is going to be different than an extrovert in the workplace. But that doesn’t mean it’s not just as valuable. In fact, introverted leaders are a huge benefit to businesses.
Most people think that in order to be a successful leader – you need to have extroverted qualities. But what if I told you this just isn’t the case? That in fact, both introverts and extroverts have equal opportunities to excel in the workplace. You might even be surprised to hear that introverted leaders can network, make essential decisions, and even mentor just as well as extroverted leaders.
If you’re an introvert like me, you may be skeptical as to how you can make yourself stand out and get ahead. But that’s why I’m here to help you find your power and thrive as an introvert in the workplace.
Embrace Your Characteristics
There are many assumptions made about introverts that lead people to believe they don’t make strong leaders. Based on certain characteristics, like being quieter or enjoying solitude, people tend to believe that introverts don’t possess the skills to inspire others or motivate them. But what if those exact characteristics are what actually make introverts unique and exceptional leaders? What if I told you that by embracing your introverted characteristics, you’re actually making yourself stand out?
Louder Does Not Equal Better
People generally tend to believe that the most outspoken and the loudest in the room are the most confident. This means people have a tendency to expect extroverts to make the best employees and the best leaders. But I’ll let you in a little secret – being the loudest in the room does not make you the most confident nor the smartest. Oftentimes, it’s the quietest person in the room who has the most to teach.
Use Natural Sincerity to Network
Introverts tend to have lower social energy, which can make networking difficult. But networking is the key to opening up opportunities in business, which means you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone a bit. This doesn’t mean you have to change your personality. Embracing it is what’s going to make you stand out. Introverts tend to have a natural sincerity, which can be used to build genuine connections with others.
For example, early on in my career, I was at an event where I didn’t know anyone and was finding it particularly hard to start conversations with others. I noticed a woman who had on a beautiful dress and decided to go up and tell her how much I loved it. This ended up working as a fantastic icebreaker, and soon we were in the middle of a deeper conversation. Genuine compliments are a great and natural way to break the ice. People notice the difference when you’re being sincere and yourself.
Utilize Your Writing Skills and Communication Apps
It’s pretty common for introverts to prefer writing for communication because it allows them to organize their thoughts on paper. Introverts tend to make the best writers, which can be a huge advantage in the workplace. And with the digital world, communication through writing has never been easier. Instant messaging, work management apps, and collaborating online through systems like Slack even can bring enhanced communication and transparency.
Utilize your writing skills. Embrace them. They are one of the main ways most businesses communicate nowadays.
Use Downtime To Recharge
You can’t always be “on,” – especially as an introvert. Use downtime to relax and recharge. Make sure you take that essential downtime and solo time to re-energize yourself. Sometimes I’ve come up with my best work strategies and proposals when taking time to myself. When your head is clear and you have time for yourself to breathe, oftentimes, the best ideas come forward.
Don’t ignore your mind and body’s need for relaxation. It’s one of the most important steps to take to avoid burnout and keep longevity, so you can go back to work even stronger than before.
Remaining true to yourself is what actually gives you power as a leader and separates you from the rest. I talk more about embracing my introverted qualities and how these qualities have helped mold me in the Developher Membership monthly meetings. In this supportive community filled with other hard-working women in tech, we talk about how to advocate for yourself, build your value, get ahead, and stand out in your career, so be sure to check out the membership if you haven’t already! Embrace yourself as an introvert, and watch as your career transforms.