“Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average.”
- Jim Rohm
There’s no one-size-fits-all kind of leader. When you think of a leader, people think of someone who is social, makes strong decisions, someone who is brash and overshadows others. Typically, people think of a quiet leader as someone who is an introvert. In various situations such as in a creative organizations leaders play a slightly different role than you might expect.
Through the successes introverted leadership does not mean you are powerless. Sometimes, people don’t realize that you need to be quiet in order to make the real noise of the organization. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
Over time in working with leaders, I’ve noticed that great leaders don’t monopolize conversations. They guide their employees. Understand that most introverts are overlooked by many in organizations for higher positions. What these extroverted leaders don’t realize is that introverted as well an ambiverted employees are actually your best employees.
When you’ve got a team of stars, working under an extroverted leader, the employees are told what to do, how to do things and have others lead them to the conclusion of the project. Typically, extroverts like to work with no structure yet their leaders put structure on them.
On the other hand, employees working for an introverted or quiet leader, they are given the assignment and they are left to find the solutions to complete the project. In this case, typically introverts who prefer working with structure give their employees a more unstructured way of conducting business. This approach has been found to achieve higher productivity with greater results.
Many quiet leaders hide their quiet introverted selves from others. Many don’t even know if a leader is quiet, introverted or an ambivert. Some of the most effective leaders who get things done are introverted by nature. Sometimes being a low-key leader does have its advantages.
Characteristics of Quiet leaders
Quiet leaders are task-focused and let their actions speak louder than words. Quiet leaders are powerful. They focus on action instead of words.
Thinking First Before Speaking: With careful consideration, quiet leaders know how to respond to others ideas and present their own views.
Asking thought-provoking questions that make people think about the specific topic or focus at the moment.
Have a tenacity to solve difficult problems. When taking any risks, quiet leaders take calculated risks so as to having a back-up plan if the first one does not work.
They do not make high-stakes decisions- Often not at the top of an organization, quiet leaders don’t typically have the spotlight on them.
Quiet leaders often are out of your comfort zone due to the challenging situations you are in.
Listens carefully and does not ignore others. Quiet leaders are more attuned to listening to others in order to commit to what others ask or say to you.
Learns from mistakes made and improve for yourself and for leading your employees.
The next time you are in a meeting, ask yourself who is actually in charge of the meeting? “Usually we assume that the leader is the one who talks first and who has the most to say. The one who listens may not be your first choice.” Are You a Quiet Leader?/August 9, 2015 by Sean Swaby.
Those of us designated leaders and primarily quiet leaders have a leadership style that varies depending on the situation we are in at the moment. Our specific traits as mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are others that are used on a daily basis.
Many extroverted leaders have started using some of these for themselves. You may realize to get more accomplished with greater results, the quiet way may be best for your leadership style as well.