10 Ways Introverts Can Become Leaders

10 Ways Introverts Can Become Leaders

It seems that certain personalities tend to raise up the corporate ladder with greater frequency and in less time. These tend to be the extroverted alpha-types, who can use charm and social graces just as effectively as business acumen and overall intelligence. If someone does not possess this innate trait does not mean they cannot develop these tools. By following some of the tips below, any ambitious introvert can improve their interpersonal skills

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and propel themselves to greater leadership roles.

10 Ways Any Introvert Can Becoming a Leader

1. Fake it till you make it

Many introverts are highly self-assured and very confident people. But it may be a struggle for an introvert to convey to others when they are being assertive or trying to take on a leadership role. If this has been a problem for you, it may help you to pretend that you are naturally outgoing and talkative. Try to slowly and subtly make changes in the volume and tone of your voice when you give instructions or make suggestions and see if people respond differently.

2. Change how you think about extroversion

Many extroverts are great at being assertive without coming across as obnoxious. While this kind of social-savvy may seem like something one is born with, it is often a learnt skill set, especially if the person uses his or her extroversion in specific situations (like a dilemma in the office or when buying a used car).

3. Look around

Take a few days to observe how those around you respond to extroverted people in your life. It is likely that you will see certain characteristics – such as frequent smiling, joking and physically engaging gestures – pop-up regularly. Try choosing some of these mannerisms which appeal to you and with which you are comfortable and incorporate them into your own day-to-day life.

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4. Make new friends

While you may appear shy to people with whom you do not have close relationships, those who know you well may not see you as withdrawn at all. It is instinctive to only let kindred spirits see the more out-going side of you. However, if you would like to be more of a leader at home or at work, know that it is important that influential people, who are leaders themselves, see your true colors.

5. Carefully choose friends and mentors

Choose the right people. Socializing with effective leaders is beneficial for two reasons: you can learn from their social skills by observation and those around you will presume that you are like your extroverted social-contacts. Just as the old adage goes, one can know a person by who their friends are.

6. Embrace your uniqueness

Some individuals are self-conscious that their true traits and mannerisms can be off-putting to others; they would rather be timid and unexpressive to not display these characteristics. However, “you’re weird” has interestingly enough become a compliment in recent years. Pop-culture now celebrates quirkiness, being a so-called nerd and obvious individuality. Being a tad socially awkward is more often than not seen as endearing these days. Embrace yourself and others are likely to as well.

7. And work it

Use this to your advantage when leading those in your circles. Don’t be afraid to play up your quirks. You may find that people respond to you differently than you expected: being yourself, especially if you are, frankly, weird, is refreshing and attractive.

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8. Take it easy

Introverts and extroverts alike often overarch when trying to lead their family or friends. Learn to be a good leader before you expect that people follow you. Be attentive and kind to those around you. No one wants to be bossed around – even if you are not inclined towards shouting or bullying.

9. Take a good look in the mirror

Know that being an introvert does not necessarily mean that people experience you as unthreatening. Quietness is daunting to many people. We shy away from what intimidates us: intimidation will not help you become a leader.

10. It comes from within

If you have deep-seated problems which prevent you from functioning socially as you would like, see a specialist. There’s nothing wrong with addressing issues with a professional.   Be sure to follow some of the tips above and improve your interpersonal skills, propelling yourself to greater leadership roles today!

Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to CEO level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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