Most people who consider themselves introverted would never think that they could be a leader professionally or personally, and this can be especially true in the IT industry. Because many IT professionals consider themselves to be introverted, they may not go after leadership positions that could make them more money and advance their careers. However, there’s no need for introverted IT professionals to hide any longer.
According to a recent article in Forbes.com, often introverts can excel in leadership positions, despite long-held beliefs to the contrary. As many as 40 percent of executives reported that they were introverts, according to Jennifer Kahnweiler of Forbes.com. Many famous leaders are introverts, including perhaps the most famous technology leader of them all—Bill Gates. How does this work? Introverted people can excel in leadership positions if they turn what they might think are weaknesses into strengths. Here are five qualities of introverts that make them great leaders.
Many introverts are great listeners, and they will take the time to understand another person’s point of view before they make a decision. Having empathy for others is a great quality for a leader to have because they will be able to put team members at ease and understand the differing needs of executives.
Introverts also tend to drill down and get to the heart of the matter instead of gathering a little bit of knowledge about everything. This can be an excellent quality for a leader to possess because it allows them to thoroughly understand a problem instead of rushing into half-baked solutions. The ability to delve into problems and issues is also a valuable communication skill, as it allows introverts to ask pointed questions of team members in order to get to the heart of a problem.
A Calm Demeanor
Having a calm demeanor in the face of pressure or other’s stress is also a quality that both great leaders and introverts share. The ability to speak calmly in high-pressure situations can be invaluable to a high-level IT professional. Even though speaking in front of others is a common fear in introverts, many introverted executives have learned ways to calm themselves and exude confidence even in the face of stress.
According to psychological experts, many introverts are more comfortable writing down their thoughts rather than speaking. While this may seem like a drawback, it allows introverted IT professionals the opportunity to present well-written and thoughtful reports, documents and written business communication. Because of a preference for the written word, many introverted professionals also do well with social media and conducting business in an online environment.