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Adrian Malpass

Business Developer (Emotionally Intelligent), The Experience Group

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Do introverts make better leaders?

Part of what I do is involved in developing emotionally intelligent businesses, leaders and teams.

Having recently seen Susan Cain's video on TED.com on 'The Power of Introverts' and listened to her in a recent radio interview here in the UK, I am increasingly finding my mind occupied by wondering about any link between being an introvert and being a successful leader.

My experience tells me that introverts quite possibly, or even probably, make better leaders than 'extroverts'.

What are your thoughts?

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    Apr 12 2012: A definition of extrovert and introvert...
    An extrovert leans towards needing external stimuli to occupy their minds.
    An introvert can occupy their mind with very little external input.

    I'm not sure about the idea that all introverts are shy and all extroverts are social studs!
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      Apr 13 2012: From all the comments I have read, I think I read them all, this is the first comment towards the right direction. The second possibility with shy and social people, that you exclude, is the one that comes to someone's head first (including my own). The majority of people, I think that this is how they define introverts and extroverts. Some others believe that it has to do with yelling.
      The final conclusion is that most of the people, in this debate, are confused. The author should provide accurate terms. That would be an extra motive to buy the book and to participate in a conversation that would provide useful results.
      • W T 100+

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        Apr 14 2012: Look what I found on line about introverts.....maybe this helps you:

        Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.

        Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."

        When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts.


        I personally have acted like an introvert at times, and other times, as an extrovert. I think that is why the presenter of the TED talk closed with the fact that we don't have total introverts and extroverts. Balance is key....
        • Apr 16 2012: Introverts get drained by being around people too long because in most social situations people do not act true to themselves, they put on a front, or a projection of how they think they should behave, a form of political correctness or self-monitoring in psychological terms. Introverts can see through this (speaking about myself as an introvert on the myers-briggs test) and so this type of environment becomes unpleasant in long durations. Of course if the social setting is a true reflection of people projecting their true personalities, then introverts do not get drained and gain satisfaction from the experience.
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      Apr 13 2012: Rob --

      A good analysis. And, I agree. I know extraverts who are actually somewhat shy and introverts who are anything but. It simply has to do with where their energies are stimulated.

      Andrea

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