Introverts Are Leaders, Too…

Are you an introvert? Maybe you have taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator test and know that your fourth and last digit in your type is an “I”… (I am a borderline I). Maybe you are shy… but shy is more about not knowing what to do in a situation than about being an introvert.

As humans, we all need some company from time to time. Extroverts get their batteries recharged when they are around people, while introverts tend to get their batteries recharged when they can get time alone for a while. (But yes, more shy people are introverts than extroverts.)

The blog at Inc. Magazine had a great article recently about five ways introverted leaders can embrace their tendencies to become better leaders:

  1. Spend solo time thinking about strategy. Since you like to be alone to recharge, why not spend that time thinking about your goals? Focus your vision. Develop specifics. Divine your motivations. These can then be taken back to your team and help it move ahead.
  2. Use the power of one-on-one conversations. You don’t really like big meetings, so why not do one-on-ones. A tip I learned as a management consultant is to try to avoid using meetings to figure things out. Use them to confirm decisions already made. To do that you need to get with people and talk with them ahead of the big meeting. You might not always be able to get thing figured out beforehand, but one-on-one people might say or be open to things they cannot afford to politically when caught by surprise in a meeting.
  3. Notice who the other “Quiet Influencers” are. Introverts often have well-developed observation skills. In meetings, look beyond the loud ones to see who is quietly putting ideas out that move the group forward. Spend time with these people one-on-one to bring out their best ideas.
  4. Identify what you want to change. This is another take on your strong observational skills, introverts. You probably can very quickly figure out what needs to change so that you can keep moving forward. You may need help executing what needs to be done, but awareness is a start.
  5. Make the most of social networking. So, you don’t necessarily like to get in front of people? Well, social media is a way of interacting with them without having to be physically present. How can you use it to help you? Your personal brand?

There are some great things to think about here. If you are an introvert, or you work regularly with introverted leaders, why tips do you have?

5 Leadership Tips for Introverts by Stephanie Meyers at Inc.com

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Those Pesky Salespeople!

Bad salespeople may get sales, but they often do it at someone’s expense. In the short-term, that might be the customer, but in the long run poor salespeople hurt their own companies. In a recent post at the Inc.com blogs, John Treace makes this point, sharing the 5 Worst Mistakes That Salespeople Make:

  1. Blaming the company for mistakes. Sure, sometimes the company is to blame, but shouldn’t a sales professional be seeking a solution instead of blame?
  2. Failing to recommend a competitor. Your product isn’t the best for all customers all the time. Sales professionals are trusted advisors, so tell the truth when the competitor is better for a particular situation.
  3. Putting the sale first. When a sale becomes about what the salesperson wants and not the customer, it puts the relationship at risk. You might get that sale, but will you ever get another one with them?
  4. Not honoring commitments. Sales professionals keep their commitments because that builds trust. If customers cannot count on you, they will go elsewhere.
  5. Making “trap” presentations. Nobody wants to be goaded into a purchase they aren’t ready to make, so avoid “If I could show you X, would you buy today?” presentations.

As you can see, good sales professionals work to create relationships based on trust with clients. They take responsibility and put the customer first, always. Are you a sales professional? What do you do to create trust in your relationships with customers?

5 Worst Mistakes That Salespeople Make by John Treace at Inc.com