Are You A Leader Who Is An Introvert?

I read with great interest Carolyn Gregoire’s recent blog in the HuffPost “An Introvert’s Guide To Surviving (And Thriving) In The Workplace”.  My company is all about helping individuals and businesses thrive and I am an introvert.

Being an introvert as a senior leader is not an easy feat.  We constantly hear about the extrovert behavior – louder, constant, able to socialize both internally and externally ALL THE TIME.  If you are like me, that simply isn’t possible.  As Ms. Gregoire aptly points out, “introverts gain energy and generally feel their most productive in quiet and solitude — and the constant stimulation and social interactions can be taxing.”  So how do you manage this as a senior leader comfortably?

I learned a number of ways over the years to not only be comfortable as an introvert, but also actually thrive – yes, thrive in my environments.  Here are 3 sure fire ways that might help you to.

3 Ways To Thrive

  1. Schedule time to walk around.>  The old “management by walking around” comes to mind when I do this, but it worked back in the ‘80’s and it works for the introvert.  Mark time on your schedule to do this.  Whether you manage a department or like me, headed up Human Resources, it’s an opportunity for people to see you; you to ask what’s going on; and simply interact.  No one has to know that this is scheduled.  The plus?  People gain access to you, and it lessens visits to your office.
  2. Get out of the office.>  Yes, you heard me.  LEAVE the physical office – whether to grab a coffee, walk around the block (or parking lot), go get your lunch, it all helps.  I always felt freer when I left for a while.  It cleared my head and I knew folks wouldn’t find me – I got a mini-recharge.
  3. Take personal days.>  That’s right, take time off.  I know this sounds impossible for some senior leaders, but it is what we need to do.  If working from home isn’t in the cards, and it wasn’t for me, take a day off here and there to truly re-charge and gain the energy you need to be in and around people.

I managed to rise up to the level of EVP as an introvert.   You can do it too and thrive!

As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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