In the world of corporate professionalism out of the various aspects and the attributes that you require to succeed, it is your approach as an individual that makes the biggest difference. There is a common conception across the globe that people with an extroverted disposition happens to make it really big and successful in the domain of the professional arena. The extroverts are the people who are supposedly the first choices for team building and for leadership profiles. Now, this is a concept that is not completely wrong but it is yet again an idea that must not be considered to be universal in its applicability.
In this context, the calibre and the strength of the introverts have often been overlooked, not just by the management of the companies but by the people themselves. Even the people with an introvert nature, feel that it is a flaw in their behaviour or nature and it is something that they need to overcome and they need to improve and leave behind if they wish to move up the corporate ladder.
Common Notions, Myths and the Reality of the Introvert Individuals
Now it is true that there are many company managements and decision-making heads who feel that employees with an extroverted disposition are the best choices for a leadership role and at the time of performance appraisal and performance management, an introvert employee always get negative remarks. However, there are many modern-age organizations that pay equal attention to introverts. Employees with introvert characteristics are often referred to as individual contributors or ICs. There are many companies in the world and their management who are genuinely interested in providing career development programs for the ICs in their company. These organizations feel that employees with all introvert characteristics or ICs have certain grit and determination that can help them to be really successful managers and team leaders in future. These introverts are innovative, focused, and performance-oriented.
Often it has been seen that the employees with an introvert nature feel that their extrovert counterparts will always be a bigger and better success at work just because of their outgoing and attractive nature. Hence, in a bid to be the same they try to deny their natural disposition and try to take up all the artificial ways, mannerisms, and behaviour patterns that will also convince the rest of the world that they are extroverts too. Individuals who try to change their inherent characteristics forcefully might be successful initially but could not continue this trait for a long time.
People who are introverts have a marked difference in their ways of thinking and their approach to everything as compared to the extrovert people. However, when they deny their first nature in a bid to be something that they are not, in reality, they can end up being very uncomfortable and also stressed most of the times. Also, one thing that all introvert nature people must understand is that success at work comes from planning, insight, dedication, innovation, and out-of-the-box thinking. These trends have no direct connection with introvert or extrovert characteristics.
In fact, it has been agreed by some of the top corporate conglomerates that introvert employees often proves to be better leaders as compared to their extrovert employees. The introvert employees often bring with them a new style of leadership that is absent in the extrovert leadership style. This style and new approach often do wonders in terms of bringing the best out of the employees. This is how the employees are able to give their best performances that herald not just their development but a huge success for the organization as a whole. In this context let us take a look at some of the ways you can use your introvert nature to take your career a step ahead.
Detachment vs. Empathy
It has been seen that extroverts are in a hurry to prove that they are the jack of all trades, they know everything, and they are better employees. This is why they often have a dictatorial approach that is not always appreciated by their team members. The introvert leaders in comparison to this have been found to be much more empathetic towards their team members. They happen to be much more patient listeners to their team members where it is their problem or their suggestions and ideas.
Commanding vs. Coaching
The extrovert leaders are often authoritarian leaders. They know just what is required out of their team members and they have an autocratic way of getting it out of them. The control and the dictate with them happen to be stringent. This is often not a very comfortable zone for an employee to work, gather knowledge, and grow. This is where an introvert leader comes into play. It has been seen that this latter form of leaders takes up the process of coaching, teaching, guiding and mentoring their team members. This can lead to a much more productive work ambience where much better performance can be availed out of a team.
Target orientation vs. Strategic Vision
Extrovert leaders often have a bigger focus on targets. They want to achieve it anyhow. They do not delve any deeper than this. As a result, they are unable to provide a strategic vision to their team members. This is something that can be expected out of an introvert leader. Introverts often take out enough time to think, envision the broader picture and connect all the loop ends with each other. This gives a concrete and a connected picture to the team members so that they can act and perform better.
Self-centred vs. All-encompassing
Growth means much more than increment and a hike in the pay package of an employee. This is a phenomenon that is intricately linked with the aspect of innovation and thinking out of the box. This is yet again something in which the introvert leaders can be of much help. For extroverts, career growth means increment in salaries, more fringe benefits, and promotions. In this regard, extroverts are self-centred. Introverts think differently. Growth means all-encompassing growth where they want to pay equal attention to the growth of others and the organization along with their own career growth.
Impulsive Decisions vs. In-depth Thinking
Often the extrovert leaders are known for their on the spot decisions. This is called impulsive decision that may prove either wrong or right. In many conditions, impulsive decisions are necessary but not always. An organization or the team can face problems due to these impulsive decisions. As compared to this style the introvert leaders follow a style of in-depth thinking. These leaders have the habit of evaluating every aspect of a decision and the final benefit or the loss that could come upon his or her team members and the company as a whole. This is a style that often gets better results at the end of the day.
Mass management vs. Group management
Extrovert leaders are known for their communication styles and ability. These are the leaders who are often able to take on huge groups and address a large mass in a rather impressive manner. Such public speaking is known to impress teams and even motivate them to a certain extent. However, it is observed that the problems of being confused, disillusioned, or lacking a focus are problems that sometimes exist with a few members of the team who cannot catch the advice and slogans of the leader. In such circumstances, introvert leaders can be of greater help where he or she through individual and one-to-one small talk can clarify the doubts and the problems of the employees and can motivate them to a large extent.
It is about time that all introverts out there must embrace their introvert nature and make the most of it. If you are an introvert, you need to realize that as an introvert you possess much more potential as a leader or employee and can be one of the most successful leaders or employees in the future.