Being an introverted manager is something I have struggled with over the years. As a new manager, you may feel like no one can relate to you, which is a lonely place to be.
You are definitely not alone. I work with a lot of introverted managers, as well as being one myself, and I have developed some tips to share to help you thrive in your new management position.
There are so many tips for extroverted managers, but not so much for introverted managers. These are things that I have picked up over the years that have really helped me level up in my leadership role.
So, let’s get into the tips so you can begin your journey to becoming a confident and thriving introverted manager.
Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below.
HOW YOU CAN THRIVE AS AN INTROVERTED MANAGER
Tip #1: Lean into your strengths as an introvert
As an introvert, it’s really easy to discount yourself as a manager when you are bombarded with the image of what a strong leader looks like. It’s usually an extrovert that is portrayed in these roles.
People who are very comfortable with public speaking are super charismatic and love to be in the spotlight.
Being an introvert seeing those images of what a strong, confident leader looks like can be discouraging, especially if you don’t possess those personality traits. If you are on the quiet side or a little more reserved and would rather sit back and listen instead of taking charge of a meeting. It can be easy to feel like maybe a leadership role isn’t for you.
Being an introvert can give you an advantage over others if you are willing to lean into your strengths as a quieter and more reserved person.
For example, as an introvert, you tend to be really good at listening. This allows you to listen and respond to be a more effective manager, rather than not really listening and just reacting.
Figure out what your strengths are as an introvert and lean into them. Throw that preconceived idea out of what you think a manager should look like and learn how to utilize your strengths.
Tip #2: Schedule buffer time for your energy
As a manager, you will have a lot of meetings. It can feel like you spent your whole day in meetings. Which, as an introvert, is absolutely exhausting.
Make it a priority that as soon as someone schedules a meeting with you that you block in a small amount of time right after as a buffer to restore your energy.
I always make sure that I have a buffer time between my last meeting of the day, a 20–30-minute buffer, which was non-negotiable, and I made sure everyone knew I was not available during that time. Unless, of course, there was an emergency.
This will give you time to gather yourself and regain your energy before you head home for the day.
Tip #3: Lean into the process
As an introvert, I am willing to bet that you are a fantastic observer. Don’t be afraid to leverage that and dive deep into your observations. Don’t just make an observation and then move on to the next thought.
The book “The road less stupid” by Keith J. Cunningham talks about learning how to leverage discipline thinking time. What he talks about in the book is how he takes time every week to really think about his observations and how he can improve processes and turn those observations into action rather than letting them go to waste.
Make it a point that you block off a bit of time every week to have some discipline thinking time, so your observations are being put into action rather than just being made, and nothing comes from them.
Tip #4: Aim for more visibility
I know this tip sounds terrible to any introvert, but you are in a highly visible role as a manager. Your manager looks to see how you’re doing, your team members look to you, and other managers around you look at you.
As introverts, we tend to shy away from being in the spotlight, but the truth of the matter is people who are not seen are often forgotten. While you may not love being the center of attention, it is important to try to be a little more visible.
I’m encouraging you, as an introverted manager, to become just a little bit more visible. Make it a weekly goal to increase your visibility by as little as 1% more than the previous week.
Instead of having your camera off during a meeting, this may look like you keep it on the whole time. So, you are visible and seen as someone to respect, someone who is credible, and someone who has something to say.
Those are four things I have found to help me thrive as an introverted manager.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a confident and effective manager, even as an introvert, check out my New Manager Accelerator Program.
I love to help new managers transform from being indecisive, shy, and unsure of themselves to self-assured, proactive leaders who can communicate effectively and feel competent in their roles as a manager. I particularly like to work with people who are introverted since I myself am introverted and can relate to the very real struggles you face.
Set up a call with me today, and I can help you thrive as an introverted manager.