OK, so you can naturally assume that achieving strong financial results is a sign of a good manager.
However, the true sign of good management is the healthy morale of your employees – whether they’re happy, motivated and productive every day.
If you’re an introverted manager aspiring to be effective as a leader, here’s a checklist:
1. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses
Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and be assertive and outgoing when the situation warrants it.
But it’s vital for you to list and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what you need to do to maximize your strengths and learn skills to fill in your gaps.
It’s also important to learn enough about yourself so you know when to venture outside your comfort zone as an introvert.
In other words, stick to your roots but know how to spread your wings.
2. Focus on inspiring employees
Even as an introvert, you can be accomplished as long as you connect and inspire your workers to follow you.
Demonstrate you have faith and trust in them to get their jobs done right. Autonomy is important.
Assign responsibilities to them and give them opportunities to achieve goals. Micromanaging does not work. You don’t want nervous employees.
Reward them for jobs well done, and invest in them and show that you care.
Show them a career path. Provide benefits such as job shadowing with other employees in higher positions, a mentoring program, one-to-one coaching and tuition reimbursement.
Give them a purpose and explain why they matter to the organization, and include them in the big decisions by asking for their input.
3. Manage employee perceptions of you
Don’t give away your power. The typical landscape of a business is where extroverted managers are often automatically assumed to be true leaders. That’s not necessarily true.
So, convey to employees that your quiet demeanor is all about you being introspective – that you’re contemplative and reflective.
4. Avoid people-pleasing and set boundaries
The natural tendency for introverted managers is to overcompensate in compassion. However, you must establish boundaries about your time and how to communicate with you.
Walk the floor twice a day to observe and chat with your team, and ask how they’re doing and even ask them if they had a great weekend or sick child.
But you don’t want everyone to feel it’s OK to stop by your office on every whim. Invite them to schedule meetings with you.
5. Ask the right questions
Insure that your employees open up to you. Ask open-ended questions vis-à-vis close-ended questions.
This helps insure you get complete responses, not just yes or no answers.
6. Be an active, attentive listener
Inspiring managers aren’t necessarily great public speakers but they are patient listeners.
The most inspiring people usually let others do 90 percent of the talking. You want employees to fully share their ideas, opinions and thoughts.
This will bring out your best qualities: Convictions, clarity, compassion, confidence and decisiveness – in other words, your quiet authority.
7. Encourage blue-sky sessions
A blue-sky session is an euphemism for brainstorming. In this way, online or offline, you will cultivate creativity and resourcefulness.
8. Continuously build authentic relationships
Get to know your employees well. Help them make good decisions and reach their career objectives.
You’ll be seen as a leader with discernment, empathy and predictability.
9. Use your talents to prioritize well
Leverage you strong listening and problem-solving skills to prioritize well with your employees. Organize your conversations to focus on the real and most-salient issues.
10. Lead from behind
Bear in mind that leading from behind does not mean abdicating your leadership role.
It means facilitating your team’s efforts in encouraging their leadership skills.
Make certain employees stay between parameters while utilizing their collective genius – letting them go ahead in decision-making and actions for long-term sustainability.
11. Budget time to figuratively recharge your emotional and physical batteries
Because you are constantly in the hot seat of management, you should take time to regroup.
Whether you close your office door for a 15-minute meditation away from your team or take a walk at noon, you must treat yourself like your computer.
Reboot to relax the chatter in your head for clarity and perspective.
From the Coach’s Corner, for productive management, here are more strategies:
Management: Coach Your Employees to Better Performance –– In talent management, coaching, counseling and giving feedback is of utmost importance. But it’s a difficult challenge if you don’t have a coaching culture.
Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company –– If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions. If you don’t like your answer, here are eight solutions.
Strategic HR Management for Retaining High Performers –– You must build your organizational capabilities if you want to create an environment that will retain high performers. The way to accomplish it is to be committed to strong results with specialized retention initiatives for your talent.
Management Strategies for Productive Applicant Interviews –– You must be assertive – ask the right questions and listen intently to cut through the morass of canned answers to get the answers you need to make good hiring decisions.
Management/HR Tips: Checking References of Applicants –– Even if you believe you’ve found an impeccable candidate, you must conduct precise reference checks. If you don’t, you risk paying a high price later.
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
-George S. Patton
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.