A study published in the Academy of Management and summarized here revealed that introverts make highly effective leaders, especially with extroverted employees. Why? Because they listen! One of the study’s authors, Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton Business School said, ”Introverted leaders…..are more likely to listen carefully to suggestions and support employees’ efforts to be proactive.”
I have found this in my own work with introverted bosses. Their patience, calm demeanor and thoughtful presence set the stage for the talkers in the crowd to think their ideas out loud. Adam, a manager I coached told me that he gives his team a “think break” in the middle of meetings to give the extroverts a bit of down time to really consider their ideas. He says that winging it doesn’t always yield the best results and he sees great power in the pause. The result? More well crafted ideas.
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