There’s good reason why 40% of executives describe themselves as introverts.
People often think a big, vibrant personality is needed to succeed in the business world, but that’s simply not true. It’s often the quiet ones who have the loudest minds.
1. They think first. Even in casual conversations, leaders learn by listening. They realize that their authority alone makes them visible, so they use their calm demeanors to make a statement amid all the noise. Consider how one thoughtful comment in a meeting can move a group forward, and how the most powerful person in a room often is the quietest.
2. They run deep. Leaders delve into ideas. Deborah Dunsire, a physician and president of a biopharmaceutical company in Massachusetts, says that besides doing surveys and holding town hall-style meetings, she schedules walk-around time. “I would just say, ‘Hey, what is keeping you up nights? What are you working on? What’s most exciting to you right now? Where do you see we can improve?'”
Introverts can be highly effective influencers when they use their natural strengths, instead of trying to act like extroverts. Introverted professionals can learn how to leverage their quiet strength to succeed and influence others. Quiet Influence will also help extroverts understand their introverted colleagues and teach team leaders how to get the best out of introverted workers.
3. They exude calm. Because they are low-key, introverted leaders project reassurance and confidence in times of crisis. One executive pretends to be James Bond before major industry conferences because it makes him feel cool and confident. Another tells himself before networking events, “I can do anything for 30 minutes.”
4. They write it down. Comfort with the written word helps leaders explain the reasons for their actions and also document those actions.
5. They enjoy solitude. Introverts recharge by spending time alone. Regular timeouts fuel their creativity and decision-making. During high-pressure periods, this helps them stay reflective, not reactive, and when the pressure’s off, it helps them with long-term planning.
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