Have you ever worked under an Introvert Manager? In my opinion, managers should always be people person with soft skills, but that is not always the real life scenario. You must have seen (or experienced) multiple situations, where an introvert person is in the management role because of his/her experience with the subject knowledge, connections with the management, or something else. No matter what is the exact reason behind this, you might come across these kind of situations more often than you might think. Thus, in this blog post, I am going to provide you with some pointers on how to deal with your introvert boss effectively and respectably.
Don’t increase their insecurities: Introvert managers spend too much of their time and energy in safety seeking to keep from looking like fools, being blamed for something, or even losing their jobs. Thus, you should try not to put them on the spot. Asking their opinion in meetings does not make it easier for them to participate; instead, it increases their anxiety. So, you should always try to ask them their opinion in one-on-one settings, where they feel more comfortable. Don’t ask vague questions during this one-on-one sessions. You should rather ask specific instructions about how, what, when, and where; so that you don’t have to bug him/her multiple times about the same information. If possible, do some homework before you ask these specific questions. Go through some scenarios, where you can address all policy impacts of his/her decisions in the same meeting. This will limit your visit to his/her office, and it will get you all the information that you might need.
Take decisions by yourself: Introvert managers always attempt to remain safe by avoiding to make decisions by themselves. Thus, I would recommend you to take new initiatives by yourselves. And if needed, take important decisions by yourself, after talking to other employees and stakeholders. During this process, you need to make sure that you keep your manager notified (or informed) about these initiatives, so that he/she doesn’t consider you as a threat to his/her power. It is comparatively easy for an introvert manager to provide his/her opinion on some decision, rather than taking that decision by themselves. It would also help, if you can show him/her your decision process, and how you came to a given decision from all the other alternatives. In this way, you can increase your manager’s comfort level by providing him with pros and cons of all the other alternatives.
Don’t expect any feedback: Introvert Managers feel more comfortable working with things than with people. For example, they might do well working at restocking items or finding glitches in a software program. They will enjoy inventory control, ordering supplies, and detailed work but be less successful in dealing with employees and employee problems. Thus, they seek/provide little feedback and disclose little information. In fact, introvert managers not only feel uncomfortable around people, but they actually fear them. So, don’t expect any praise, guidance, criticism, or help from your introvert boss. You might have to provide these for yourself or ask your colleagues to do so. Due to the sheer nature of your boss, you might want to set up a 360 degree survey for your job performance. In this way, you will be getting true and real feedback from all the people you work for, and may be, this can help you in getting that next promotion, which you might not get, if your performance is only judge by your introvert manager.
I hope, this blog helps you in dealing with your introvert boss. Have you (or do you) worked for an Introvert Boss before? If so, how did you deal with that situation? What other ideas can you give to my readers?
I will be waiting for your interactive comments. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.