They're thought of as outgoing so they would be more comfortable leading others, more open and social so they would dominate at networking, and having a thicker skin which means an advantage in negotiating, right? That might be true in some instances, but the truth is that introverts can actually make better leaders in some situations.
Extroversion vs. introversions is fluid, and there are times when every self-identified introvert has stronger extroversion leanings--like when they're in smaller groups, comfortable in their surroundings or confident in the task at hand. In fact, there are many innate "introvert qualities" that are fantastic matches for being a manger. Here are a few:
1. Thinking before speaking
There's a huge difference between being an introvert and being shy. While many introverts are familiar with being told, "You're so quiet!" it's often because they're listening, soaking up the information, observing and reflecting before contributing. Listening (true listening) before speaking is a vital skill for a manager. It ensures the best moves are made.
2. They see more
It's pretty tough to soak up the entirety of a situation when you're a social butterfly. Introverts more easily pick up on cues that extroverts don't, such as body language, tone and tics from others. This can be a game changer during important meetings, such as those to plan an acquisitions merger.
3. They don't need constant exterior stimulation
Do you really want a manager who can't be alone long enough to draft that report? Introverts might need "re-charging time" where they're not obviously manning the ship, but that doesn't mean they're holed up reading a book. They can use this time to take care of managerial tasks that are best done alone, such as writing their letter for the annual report or going over sales numbers.
4. They let others shine
This isn't to say that introverts don't sometimes enjoy the limelight. However, they don't usually hog it which means they're happy and conscious of letting their team members shine. This is paramount for a successful business because nobody wants a boss who "steals" their credit or wants 100 percent of the attention during meetings and events.
5. They're more in touch with empathy
This is related to number four, but since introverts observe more, it naturally helps them hone their empathy skills. They might pick up on issues quicker, like if there's a problem with a couple of team members in a department. They can see both sides a little easier, and have a knack for embracing gray areas.
6. They have other means of commands beyond flair
While extroverts might have a natural way of commanding a room's attention with their speaking skills and sparkle, introverts have their own ways--such as stoic, confident statures or perfectly planned and practiced speeches. There's more than one way to get attention, and introverts definitely have their tricks.
One type of person isn't better than another when it comes to management. If you're a self-identified introvert who's wondering if you have what it takes to found or lead a company, you likely do. You'll just need to showcase those skills to any investors or stakeholders clearly.