How to Lead as an Introvert: 7 Tips for Success

One of the most common misconceptions in the workforce is believing the ultimate path to leadership is being an extrovert who leads the crowd with their voice.

It’s important to remember that being the loudest person in the room does not always mean you are leading by example — rather, it’s determined by the value you bring to the table. 

While introverts’ styles are different, they uphold analytical and empathetic qualities that can have a very positive impact on those they manage.

There is no perfect formula for how to be the best leader if you’re more shy than your co-workers — you can only control where you allocate your energy and how you choose to show up every day. 

Below, we highlight critical tips for leaderships success for those who may be shy or introverted — putting your best self on the path to lead and manage in the workplace.

How to successfully lead, even if you’re an introvert or shy:

1. Practice your ability to listen before responding

Introverts are great at processing an issue in attempts to give a thorough solution but oftentimes shy away if others have already presented their thoughts. 

While being quick to speak up is needed in the workplace, the most effective approach comes from a mix of quality and efficiency. 

It is so important to challenge yourself to share your ideas, not only because it’s a great way to get people thinking from new perspectives but you’ll uncover others who resonate with your strategy.

2. Mirror those who inspire you  

It’s easy to feel awkward asking for help and that’s okay, we’re all human. But the wonderful thing about building new habits is that there are people who we can turn to for guidance who also had to start from square one.

Start reaching out to a few coworkers or execs in your company who have the traits or tendencies you’re looking to develop.

Whether it’s delving into their process in an area you want to better yourself in or suggesting to meet with them a few times a month, you will gradually start to notice a difference in yourself. 

3. Fuel your day with motivation 

In any leadership role, it’s crucial to manage up and be a voice for your team. Introverted people can be so zoned in on something that sometimes they can seem distant until spoken to.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a process that starts and ends with the choices we make and the way we fuel our minds.

We’ve highlighted a few podcasts that speak on the power of taking risks, controlling your thoughts, and refusing to settle for a life that is less than what you’re capable of living.

Motivational podcasts to help introverts:

4. Create goals for yourself and speak them out loud  

Introverts are very intuitive and often under promise but over deliver. Sometimes all they need to raise the bar is an outside factor to help hold them accountable.

Start creating a list of goals, learns, and wins for each week that can get you thinking. 

Then speak on behalf of all of it with your manager that way they know how to help you in the areas you’re looking to improve.

Remember there is no such thing as setting the bar too high for yourself, the more you challenge yourself the better you become.

5. Make time for yourself: recharge to prevent burnout 

In any leadership role, it’s important to communicate your methods and allocate time to be an attentive resource for your team. 

Introverts often feel most rejuvenated after taking alone time to recharge. Setting boundaries and abiding by a routine that makes you energized will strengthen your ability to be effective, just as it would in your personal life.   

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone while being realistic with how much you can take on will only build a healthy balance to prevent burnout.

6. Prepare speaking points before meetings

We’ve all been there, working ourselves up the night before a big meeting or an interview and we barely get any sleep. 

The problem many people face is leaving the actual conversation not satisfied with the points they left out because their nerves got in the way.

Introverts typically repeat conversations in their head with a script of responses for how the conversation can go.

Instead of this, try writing down the points you want to make, however creative you want. You can leave it open-ended for questions on each idea and be honest that this is the approach you’re taking. The trick is having the execution of your points come off as understood and engaging over memorized.   

7. Be patient with yourself, it takes time & consistency

Just like going to the gym, you won’t notice a change after the first few days but you’ll start to feel that confidence that the power is in you to transform. 

The consistency is there and the energy only builds stronger the more you commit and the more you demand those results that are coming, with every time you wake up and choose better for yourself.  

Now do that for your mind. 

Trust that your mind cherry-picks each statement you give for validation and use the knowledge wisely. 

Feed it with affirmations that are good for your soul and growth even if you don’t fully believe in it yet, do it time and time again until you get there. 

A reminder for introverts in leadership

If you’re reading this you should be so proud of yourself for all the peaks and valleys that have gotten you to pursue this path

Everyone is capable of being a successful leader in their company, without a ceiling dependent on personality type.  

There’s always a chance to grow and succeed no matter how you view yourself or where you come from. The way we talk to ourselves and choose to show up one day can be the trajectory of a new and improved path moving forward. 

It all starts with choosing to begin and taking each challenge as a learning experience. The magnitude of what you’re capable of is limitless.

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