Strong leaders are often thought of as outgoing and dominant, but there are a number of ways for those with “quiet” personalities to lead effectively. Good listening skills, the ability to thrive in collaborative environments, and openness to new ideas are all excellent leadership qualities.
Here are six tips to help introverts play to their strengths and develop as leaders:
- Acknowledge Accomplishments
It’s important to give credit where credit is due, and take credit when you’ve done a good job. Be confident in your contributions to the workplace, and make sure to regularly communicate personal achievements to key decision-makers.
- Find an Office Champion
If self-promotion feels uncomfortable, find someone to do it for you. Most employees have a supervisor whom they share professional accomplishments with. Find the right extrovert at work and let that person champion your accomplishments in meetings and social situations to help gain credibility and visibility among colleagues.
- Plan Discussions Ahead of Time
Planning ahead can help alleviate the anxiety and uncertainty that comes from being put on the spot. Being prepared to ask and answer questions, and address likely responses, can help you achieve desired outcomes and communicate effectively in the moment.
- Use Body Language
Body language speaks volumes. The simple use of hand cues in meetings to acknowledge someone’s point, resting elbows on the arms of the chair instead of at one’s side, making direct and sustained eye contact, and speaking slowly are all simple ways of expressing more authority in workplace and group settings.
- Envision High-Level Impact
Many personality types can thrive in high-level positions. Envisioning success as a leader, and being receptive to others’ ideas, can help improve your personal performance and motivate your team to greater success.
- Utilize EAP Resources
Want more help navigating the ins and outs of workplace leadership? Contact ACI Specialty Benefits for free and confidential support for any personal or professional development need.
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