Last week I wrote about introverted leaders and offered seven tips for success. This week it’s all about extroverts and the things they can do to hone their leadership skills.
Introversion or extroversion is not about how shy or social you are; it’s about how you derive your energy.
An introvert’s source of energy comes from within, from their inner world of thoughts, ideas, and reflections. Introverts direct energy and attention inward and receive energy from reflecting on thoughts, memories, and feelings.
Extroverts, on the other hand, get their essential stimulation from the outer world, the world of people and things. They direct their energy and attention outward and receive energy from interacting with people and from taking action.
Introversion and extroversion are not so much personality traits as preferences for interacting with the world in a way that feels the most comfortable to them. Everybody has both qualities in their personality, the inward and the outward energy, but we do tend to lean consistently one way or the other.
Leaders come in both styles. Neither is right or wrong. Both have advantages and both have challenges.
But the simplest way to find out if you are an introvert or an extrovert is to answer these questions:
If you are energized by outward interactions you are an extrovert. If you tend to focus your attention and energy outward you are an extrovert. Again, these are general feelings, and everyone has both qualities, but we do tend to lean more one way or the other, and this has an impact on our leadership style.
It’s all about where you prefer to focus your attention and get your energy. In general,
Extroverts are very good at remaining aware of the external environment, maintaining their networks, and taking quick action.
The introversion/extroversion personality preference is important in leadership because it directly pertains to how people relate to other people, especially in terms of communication and engaging with others.
Three of the most important leadership skills are the ability to inspire, motivate, and enable others to act. To do this requires a communication and personal engagement style that promotes a sense of trust and confidence with one’s employees and co-workers.
When most people think of a leader they probably think of an extrovert. But extroverts may overwhelm and intimidate people, make them feel they aren’t being heard, push ideas prematurely, and unintentionally reveal confidences. They like to think out loud, which can lead to problems. Extroverts have to be careful.
Here are some seven tips to help extroverts be better leaders:
The best leaders are those who can inspire, motivate, and enable others to act. You can lead effectively whether you are an extrovert or an introvert. You just need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of your style, and work on the things that may challenge you. Good luck!