Introvert leaders can thrive in extrovert environments

Posted: 7th July 2014

Introvert leaders can thrive in extrovert environments

Eileen Brown

I’m not much of an extravert which surprises those that see me in public social environments.  I can hop between introversion and extroversion quite easily.  I’m happy on my own and in crowds.  I’m probably an ambivert.

Introverts tend to have a hard time in the workplace.  They are often encouraged to attend brain storming meetings when they want to retreat behind their laptops and concentrate alone.  Introverts don’t tend to get many leadership positions, and when in leadership roles, are often criticised for being aloof and uncommunicative.

But being in large groups, brainstorming, often doesn’t unleash the truly innovative ideas.  Sometimes your best thinking and problem solving occurs when you are alone with your own thoughts and space to develop ideas.

Susan Cain who says “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” is an introvert.  She argues that unstructured, cafe-style meetings can often bring out the best in introverts, rather than huge group-think type environments where the extraverts battle to have their say.

Often the best ideas we have are when we’re alone.  Even total extroverts need some downtime and some ‘me’ time. Discover your hidden introvert.  Stop giving introverts a hard time.

Put that device down, stop using social media to see the noise of the world.  Listen to the silence, pick up a book.

Recharge those batteries and create the next big idea…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for BusinessContact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach