Who Makes Better Leaders: Introverts or Extroverts?

With a full 40 percent of executives considering themselves introverts, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests both personality types can be excellent leaders. Extroverts may excel at motivating certain types of employees, but introverts often have superior planning skills. If you want to become a leader, you’ll need both skills, plus other traits that may not come easily to you. Knowing your personality type will help you identify which skills may need refining – and where you’re likely to excel.

Common Introvert Leadership Qualities

If you’re an introvert, you need to have alone time to recharge after a tough day. You may be perceived as shy or quiet, and you work well alone or one-on-one with other colleagues.

As an introverted leader, you’re likely to excel at planning and you value long-term goals. It’s easy for you to stay focused on a single objective. You have a tendency to be a good listener, which helps you glean ideas from various members of your team. You’re also good at managing employees who can take initiative, and you appreciate differences of opinion.

In a crisis, you’re often calm and collected. You tend to think first and then speak, which often makes your opinion more valuable. You’re also, most likely, an excellent written communicator.

Introvert vs Extrovert Leaders

Common Extrovert Leadership Qualities

If you’re an extrovert, you feel more invigorated around others, and attending parties and group collaborations leave you energized. People may label you as outgoing, and it’s likely you can strike up a conversation with just almost anyone.

If you’re an extroverted leader, you will be successful in managing people who like to follow. You can inspire people with your vision, and you probably have superior oratory skills.

Due to your ability to easily relate to people, you’re likely to have an extensive network of friends and acquaintances who can help in a crisis. You’re also prone to be assertive and high-energy.

Introversion Vs. Extroversion in Leadership

Introversion and extroversion may affect how you naturally relate to other workers, but good leadership requires that you’re able to manage different types of workers. In one study, introverted leaders were able to better lead a group of proactive employees than an extroverted leader. Extroverted leaders were more likely to be threatened by suggestions from their team; however, these same leaders were able to better motivate team members who were natural followers.

To be a good leader, you’ll need to lead a variety of workers with varying personality types. That’s why you’ll need emotional intelligence to read the room and use different approaches to motivate different people. You’ll also need to understand your own leadership weaknesses and work to strengthen those skills. Avoid using only those leadership skills that come naturally, or else you may not be able to reach every member of your team.

introvert characterstics for leaders

Traits All Leaders Need to Cultivate

There are plenty of good qualities that aren’t tied to a specific personality type. Good leaders demonstrate honesty and are quick to admit their own flaws. They’re also passionate about what they do and are optimistic when presented with challenges. Successful leaders are able to use their own creativity and intuition to help direct the team in new directions. Overall, leaders must be decisive and courageous enough to avoid fear-based business decisions.

About the Author Chris Craddock

As the leader of Projections' production team, Chris loves to inspire others to perform at the highest levels! From the most challenging leadership opportunities to brainstorming the latest topics leaders want to learn about, Chris provides clear direction and vision.

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