Introvert Manager: The 3 Biggest Mistakes Introverts Make That Stall Their Management Career (You?)
As an introvert, you’re continuously facing challenges in our extraverted national culture. Add on top of those challenges the demands of your role as a manager. It can be easy to make mistakes that will stall out your career.
Is that you?
You can’t change who you are fundamentally but you know you can make a big difference to the business.
And you do want to play bigger, right?
Here are 3 of the biggest mistakes I see managers, who are also introverts, make that holds them back and what to do instead:
Mistake #1 – Hunker down in your work. Introverts find great satisfaction in working hard and focusing. We get a lot done. The problem is that as a manager you have to be interacting with the people in your organization. You’re not doing that if you’re hunkered down over a project. Granted, it’s what got you this far but your work is now bigger because people are now in the picture. You have more than your own work to focus on.
What to do instead: Make a point to get out of your office to make contact several times each day. Since this is something you’re not prone to do, put it on your schedule. Don’t think of what you’re doing as taking a break.
Mistake #2 – You think your work speaks for itself. In fact, it won’t. You can’t assume anyone is paying that much attention to much more than his or her own work. By your lack of communication, you are leaving too much to the imagination especially to your boss. Others, whose performance doesn’t match yours, are making points while you aren’t.
What to do instead: Make it a point to update both your organization and your management twice a month. You should make sure hot issues are communicated urgently. When you update, you are ensuring these people know what you want them to know. Just a hint: this is a form of self-promotion but it isn’t icky when you think of it as an update, does it?
Mistake #3 – You think relationships really won’t make a difference. Think again. As you move up the management food chain, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know (and how well you know them) that matters. Relationships don’t require going out for drinks after work it simply means paying attention and time to others.
What to do instead: You don’t have to memorize the names and ages of your peers and management. You do need to develop strong relationships with those same people the same way you do anyone – show interest, ask questions, find common ground and be consistent.
What comes naturally to extroverts can become a great process for you to follow. You don’t need a personality transplant to move your career forward. You simply need “adaptation” strategies.
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