When you think of a successful leader do you imagine an extrovert, gregarious and charismatic person? This stereotype of how a leader should behave is slowly starting to change. The quietly confident leader is being recognised more, but the unconscious bias for ‘loud and proud’ leaders can be tricky to shift.
The expectation that a leader should be charismatic and bold makes it difficult for quieter women who have a reflective personality. It can result in them avoiding taking on leadership roles or being overlooked by seniors.
If that’s you, then think again. Your strengths of being a good listener, deep thinker and having a logical approach make you an ideal leader. And at last organisations are starting to recognise it.
Of the hundreds of senior career women I’ve worked with, many of them were quieter and felt they needed to change to progress their career. Experience has shown me that you don’t have to be inauthentic to be a great leader. Instead, playing to your strengths and adapting your communication style have a bigger impact.
So, how can you be a successful quietly confident leader?
Well, here are my 6 suggestions:
- Collaborate – as a quiet leader you will listen more and ask incisive questions. That will empower your team to contribute their ideas and work together successfully
- Build relationships – building rapport isn’t just about charisma it’s about respect, trust and integrity. As a quieter leader, you’ll invest the time and energy in building stronger long-term relationships.
- Speak with passion – there may be situations where you need to have a real impact and inspire others. By being invested in the subject, project or people, you’re more likely to speak with passion and take your team with you.
- Empower your team – as a quiet leader do you prefer to put your effort into getting the actions delivered rather than a focus on words and telling people how to do things. Empowering your team with the autonomy to make their own decisions not only develops individuals but also develops loyalty
- Stay calm – as a reflective and logical leader when your under pressure or things are going wrong, you’ll be able to stay calm and analyse the way forward. That calmness will pass onto your team and is a fantastic strength.
- Share the results – As a quietly confident leader talking about your successes may feel uncomfortable, but it is essential for you to be successful. Take you personally out of it and talk about the work and your team with an occasional ‘I’.
It’s no longer about ‘fake it till you make it’ but using your authentic leadership style effectively, whatever your approach is. Recognising that there is a place for all leadership styles is well overdue.
If you question your leadership abilities because you’re quiet and a deep thinker. Then let me share with you some strategies to feel confident in your own authentic style.