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Introvert Leaders #4: Charisma
Addressing the traits of introversion in a leadership role
People like to follow other people when they have charisma.
But when considering the traits of introverts, “charisma” usually isn’t a first thought.
Introverts can, however, develop this as a leadership skill, and when they do, it can be highly effective.
Step 1: Believe in an idea. Introverts usually want to be sincere and have high standards for what is right. They usually can’t “sell” an idea unless they authentically believe it. This is a strength, particularly when leading other introverts, as introvert leaders who only promote ideas that they truly believe are good ideas develop a track record of being credible, honest, and authentic.
Step 2: When talking about the idea, express a focused, positive energy. You don’t need to be loud or flailing your arms like a muppet on meth. Be your authentic self, but allow your sense of “this is going to be great!” to come through when talking about the idea. That passion—even when reserved and calmly stated, even when whispered—catches people’s attention. It’s like putting your idea into a bold font—it is more easily noticed by the listener.
Step 3: Invite them in; don’t just throw information at them. Introverts often have a mindset that “the data speaks for itself.” However, sometimes we need to “translate” for the data in order for other people to understand and care.
Bottom-line the benefits of your idea, and/or “point out the cliff” of not making the change.
Show them the “big picture” benefits for people—the individual, the team, the company, the nation, humanity…
Ask for their questions, and really listen to their concerns. Focus your responses on finding common ground and bringing them into agreement with your idea, rather than on telling them why their ideas are wrong.
This requires practice, so start small. Your competence will grow with practice.