There’s no doubt about it: being a manager is hard work. Being a great manager takes a lot of consistent practice, dedication, and energy that are ultimately put towards cultivating a great employee experience. Managers have to be bold, upbeat and authoritative in order to differentiate themselves from the rest.
Essentially, being a great boss means you have the ability to motivate, guide and teach your workforce. For some people, that’s no problem—you may feel like you were born to lead others and you have the confidence to do so with ease. For others, however, it may be challenging to break out of your comfort zone to step into the role of a manager. But it’s not impossible.
Here are a few management tips for introverts, or individuals that tend to be more on the shy side.
Get to know your team members on a personal level, while maintaining and keeping appropriate boundaries.
If you struggle to be authoritative with your team members, it could be because you are feeling shy around them as individuals first and foremost. Take time to understand who your employees are and how they like to be treated/managed. This can make it easier for you to have those uncomfortable conversations with them, coach them in their time of need, or give them instructions the way a manager is intended to.
Find what works for you and stick to it.
Do you prefer to communicate via email and then follow up in person? Great! Learn to understand what works for you (and what doesn’t) as a manager. You will quickly learn what pushes you appropriately out of your comfort zone and what feels like too much to handle.
That old saying of ‘practice makes perfect’ doesn’t end when you enter the workforce, so we encourage you to practice your public speaking skills and other management techniques often.
One of the biggest mistakes managers make is getting content with the skills they have and failing to continue to work on themselves. Prepare for even the smallest conversations, if needed. You will never regret taking a few minutes out of your day to prepare for an uncomfortable conversation, but you will regret not taking the time to try.
Remember that you are a manager for a reason!
Oftentimes, introverted people tend to forget that they indeed have the skills necessary to do the same things that extroverted individuals do. It just takes a little bit more time and thought, but it can be done! Remember to hype yourself up and to remember why you got this job. You are capable of leading a team to success; believe in that!
Call up a mentor and connect with them frequently.
It may be safe to assume that if you are manager level (or own your own business where you manage several people), you likely have had a manager or two in your career. Think back to a manager that helped you during your times as an employee and ask for his or her feedback on how you can be the best manager possible. Mentorship goes a long way, especially when it’s from someone who has both been in your shoes and knows the kind of person you are! They can help you play up your strengths and learn how to improve upon your weaknesses.
The important thing to remember is that no matter who you are (introvert or extrovert in nature), you can successfully lead a team if you have the willingness to learn. Your introverted and shy personality does not have to be the reason why you cannot own your own business, successfully manage a team or move up in your company. Instead of focusing on the things that you may not do perfectly, choose to focus on the skills you do have and how to use them to your advantage, or improve upon your skills. You can do hard things, no matter what. Find what works for YOU!
How Introverts Can Be Great Managers