Why introverts can be leaders
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If there’s one person who knows about leadership, it’s executive coach, communications expert, and author Kristi Hedges. She’s spent 25 years working with leaders to help them develop the skills necessary to effectively manage and lead their teams. And, yes, introverts have been included in her training with just as much success as others! In Hedges’ newest book, The Inspiration Code, which hits bookstore shelves this summer, she debunks common myths about leaders. The biggest one: There’s no such thing as a natural-born leader, so introverts are on the same playing field as extroverts. In fact, you’d probably never guess that these famous people are introverts. We talked to Kristi about some of the skills introverts already possess and how they can translate them into sharp, developed leadership skills in the workplace.
Use your listening skills to your advantage
An introvert tends to be more comfortable listening that speaking. Although this sounds like a problem for someone who wants to be a leader, it’s an extremely helpful skill to have. According to Hedges, “Introverts tend to think first and speak second. They’re most comfortable going inward with their ideas before externalizing them. This thoughtfulness often makes them strong strategists. They will take the time to absorb information and find common threads. What might bore an extrovert, an introvert can find fun. Their quieter nature can make them easier to approach. They’re also comfortable giving a conversation space, and can be more adept at fully focusing on the person in front of them.” Consider your listening skills an asset, and make them work to your advantage. Taking everything in and processing it before speaking will ensure that your messages are thoughtful and based on precise information. Here are more hidden strengths of introverts.