For the high achieving introverted woman working in a world dominated by extroverts, if you are not self aware and true to yourself, it can be easy to think that there is something wrong with you.
You may not be loud.
You may not bolshie.
And you’re most certainly not likely to be the life and soul of the party at events and gatherings.
But you know what, that is ok.
Trying to behave like the extroverts and be something that you’re not will only put undue pressure on yourself. It will drain your energy, affect your self confidence and make you start questioning whether you are really good enough.
Before you can lead others you have to be able to lead yourself.
Before you can lead others, you have to be able to lead yourself. And as an introvert in an extroverted world, self leadership is key. Knowing who you are, knowing your strengths and playing to them will help you to be an authentic, bold, confident leader. Able to stand your own, even if all around you people are behaving like it’s a matter of she who shouts loudest gets heard.
As an introverted leader myself, I would go to meetings dominated by extroverts, all vying for attention, all vying to get their voice heard above the noise, but that just wasn’t me. I would sit, watch, listen and observe, reflecting on what was being said before adding my golden nuggets of wisdom. Not just talking for the sake of talking, but talking when I had something valuable to add.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t always seen as a strength or a good quality to have. There was a period in my career when I went through a very challenging time when my leadership abilities were questioned. I wasn’t a throw your toys out of the pram sort of person and this I believe contributed to why I was being challenged.
But rather than change who I was, I played to my strengths, became more of my authentic self, resulting in the recognition I deserved and being known as a calm, confident leader.
Read more about the introverted female leader inside HER Magazine.