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Are You an Introverted Boss?

| October 30, 2012

by Jim Bruce

The Tuesday Reading today, “Are You an Introverted Boss?”, comes from the pen of a confessed introvert, Douglas Conant, President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company.

As an introvert, Conant enjoys being by himself, he needs quiet time to be alone with his thoughts and recharge, yet his job requires him to be “out there” much of the time.  And, the same is true for any leader who is an introvert.

Conant has discovered several behaviors that he has found helpful:

1.  Introvert’s need thinking time.  So, carve out time on your calendar, time to work through your process and make your decisions.  (If you’re like me, if it’s not on the calendar, it won’t happen.)

2.  Introverts aren’t as aloof as they appear to be.  They often prefer to listen rather than talk.  To reduce any emotional discomfort, introverts may want to declare themselves.  And, they do also know that they need to be heard (or else others in the meeting will wonder why they’re there).  So, knowing the agenda, prepare for what you want to say before you get to the meeting.

3.  Introverts benefit from familiar touchstones.  Be familiar with the material for your meeting.  If you are making a presentation, visit the venue, try out your speaking position.

Conant closes his essay by saying that introverts never really change their stripes though they often work hard to adapt to other’s styles.  So, ultimately, what helps the introverts most is to accept them as they are.  Personally, they help themselves most by developing a set of behaviors that meet their work’s needs and their own.  And, if you have introverts in your group, by supporting their style you increase their ability to deliver.


.   .  .  .     jim