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I’m Introverted! Can I Be a Good Leader?

Have you ever heard the remark that extroverted people perform better in the workplace than introverted leaders? Have you heard conceptions saying that someone who is introverted cannot be a successful leader?


Neither this belief, nor that view is incorrect that those persons achieve the best results who are extremely active, talk a lot, constantly seek the company of others and feel good when being in focus of attention. Many people consider success like this, but the picture is more subtle. (Learn more about extroverted the personality trait here and introverted here).

Indeed, introverts and extroverts communicate and make decisions differently and consider facts in distinct ways.

These differences are obvious in a workplace environment. But it cannot be claimed that you need to be extroverted to be an outstanding leader.


Several previous studies have confirmed that ambiverted people prove to be the most successful at work. (Read more about ambiverted personality here). They are the ones staying between the two extremes, extroversion and introversion, and most people belong to this personality type. Unlike most extroverts, ambivert individuals have little or no displeasing self-confidence. Thus they can gain more sympathy and trust in their clients when working in customer service positions. They are the ones who listen to the others patiently, take care to their needs and are ready to adapt flexibly, if needed.

Attentive listening and focusing are also general traits of introverted people. This undoubtedly provides an advantage for them in leadership positions.

 Introverted leaders don’t nake decisions impetuously. 

Introverted leaders make a prudent decision, are not in a rush, and do not aim to please everyone at all costs. Their strength is analyzing and considering the circumstances. If  a conflict arises, it will take them to make the right decision a bit longer compared to the extroverted leader. However, the ultimate result will be more thoughtful and accurate. These types of leaders successfully adopt a kind of “learned” extroverted behavior in certain cases, which is not in line with their basic personality though, but may make them successful in the workplace environment.

There are even situations when introverted leaders can achieve substantially better performance than extroverts.

For example, when their direct co-workers are active and periodically come up with lots of ideas. Here the manager has the opportunity to analyze and consider the facts, furthermore compares the various suggestions of the colleagues. This kind of group dynamics can be fruitful because in this case we can realize both deeper analysis and creative approach at the same time, that may lead to a quick and good result. Conversely, if extroverted leaders are surrounded by similarly energetic and imaginative colleagues, they may feel threatened by their position and status, so they may not allow enough space for others, and this can lead to low level of effectiveness.


In summary:

An extroverted personality trait is not a guarantee of becoming an excellent leader, since success requires many other factors. These are for example attentive listening, analytical skills, thoughtful decision-making, and optimal group dynamics. These qualities are more characteristic of ambiverted and introverted persons, so they are as likely to hold successful and effective leadership positions as their extrovert peers.

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