Part I – 5 qualities that explain why an introvert is very well equipped to be a team leader
Not sure if you are shy or if you are an introvert?
Being an introvert is different from being shy.
When you are shy, most often than not:
– you tend to blush when asked something, especially if you are not sure of the answer.
– you may also suffer from anxiety and can find it difficult to easily blend in society, not knowing how to behave and fearing others’ judgment.
– you could avoid being among a large group of people as it would isolate you and would make you feel awkward if you are not with a good friend to act as your anchor.
If you haven’t particularly nodded at the above, have a look at what is following.
Could you be an introvert?
– do you happen to live “within”? You observe, you think, you have inner conversations, but you are not necessarily expressing our thoughts out loud or trying to be on the forefront
– do you enjoy being on your own and rarely suffer from loneliness? In fact, introverts are used to being in their own company, so more often than not, you are comfortable just reading or watching TV or being with a limited group of friends
– do you prefer having a meaningful conversation and find futile the art of chit chat?
If the above resonates with you, you qualify as an introvert. I should know about it; I am one of them. People who happen to know me from work could be surprised at this statement, but the thing is, after a few years in management and after regularly traveling and giving public presentations, you tend to have two personalities.
What does this mean?
It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other or that one is the real me while the other is not. it simply means that such as an actress could be, I wear the personality of a team leader when I am at work, but I enjoy a more intimate setting and live well with myself when I am outside work.
What does this mean? It means that you can integrate a more extroverted personality or at least show a more comfortable and outgoing personality in a work environment without losing sight of who you are within.
But for now, the most pressing question is around your recruitment.
How to overcome an introverted personality when you are interviewing to become a Team Leader?
As we have just seen, an introverted person is an individual who is introspective, who lives more easily within.
In this blog post, we will cover 5 qualities of an introvert so that you see for yourself why being an introvert shouldn’t prevent you from applying to a team leader position.
1. Most introverts are mentally organized
Indeed, you tend to think a lot, to reflect, to make mental comparisons. Therefore, you categorize what you observe and come up with smart deductions.
You rarely react hastily because it does take time to process data, even if you happen to be really good at this natural exercise. in other words, you will think first and act or respond later.
2. You communicate concisely and purposefully
OK, you might not jump around and express yourself out loud every five minutes. However, when you send out an email, it is usually well-constructed, well-explained and has a purpose.
In other words, you don’t communicate for the sake of it. When you do communicate, it is because you have something meaningful to say.
3. You appear calm and composed
And that is a fantastic tool in your leadership toolbox for sure! In times of crisis, having a leader jumping around in sheer panic is not going to do it.
A naturally introverted leader is going to absorb and digest the information and is going to reflect on it before concluding to anything.
During that period of time, your team members will calm down as they will respond to your attitude.
Remember that if there is any sort of out of ordinary event, your team members will look at you to mimic your response to it. If they see you in panic mode, they will panic themselves. Not good.
4. You appear naturally assertive
Introverts think before opening their mouth. Obviously, this is an excellent thing. This quality is essential when leading people to success.
If a team leader appears to be all over the place, team members will project that back by acting up or by being on the defensive.
Showing an assertive side of you (even if you don’t feel like you are) makes you appear reliable and trustworthy. Remember that it all comes down to perceptions.
5. You are usually independent
From experience, an introverted individual being very much living inwards as opposed to expressing themselves outwards tend to rely on themselves.
Recruiters having to hire for a management position will love you for that because they don’t really like to “babysit” their new team leaders.
They know you will have a training period and they expect you to be fully autonomous at the end of it. By showing a self-reliant attitude at the interview is a major plus for you.
Being an introvert shouldn’t prevent you from applying for a team leader position; quite the opposite in fact as you possess essential qualities that demonstrate that you are not only fit for the job but are also emotionally aware.
The only thing is, how can you subtly share that message during the interview?
All you have to remember is this: the recruiters will pick up on the fact you are an introvert within the first seconds of you introducing yourself. That is not an issue because you will make a good impression because you will appear composed.
Having said that, they will try and assess how you are going to connect with your team. Because this is all that matters at the end of the day. The connection you will establish with your team will ultimately dictate how successful your team will be and how successful you will be as a team leader.
Remember what Maya Angelou told Martin Luther King (I believe she said that to him, although I can’t find that information anymore; so, I am relying on what I was told myself around 5 years ago about
Maya Angelou to Dr King; “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The answers in Part II of that blog post dedicated to the success of introverted candidates wanting to become a team leader.
In the meantime, I invite you to read the free guide here below if you are still indecisive about becoming a team leader but are considering it.