Do you know what do the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Google’s Larry Page, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Myers, and former Apple executive Guy Kawasaki have in common?
They’re all introverts.
Contrary to common notion, introverts are not shrinking violets that lack people management skills. In fact, some of the most successful people that have graced the corporate world were introverts.
The introvert’s reflective and cautious approach can be just as effective in managing projects and people as the outgoing style preferred by the extroverts.
If you are also an introvert project manager, here are 10 project management tips that can dramatically reduce your stress when managing projects, establishing productive teams, and entangling problems relating to a project.
1. Know More about Your Team
Remember that your project team is the foundation of a project’s success. A successful project manager must know how to effectively manage the team members that results in a timely and cost-effective delivery of the project.
The manager should know how to break the ice with the team without feeling awkward or shy. If you are not skilled in schmoozing, you should get to know the team through the formal introduction. Consider setting up individual one-to-one with your subordinates. In this way, you don’t have to go through the ordeal of having to idle talk in the middle of the floor with everyone around.
2. Use Technological Tools to Your Advantage
You can leverage the effectiveness of technological tools in communicating with the employees. Consider having e-conferencing with the team if you prefer having a conversation with them from the comfort of your desk. Also, you can use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to better know your team on a more personal level. This can help you in gaining the trust of your employees and leading them in a more effective manner.
3. Have a Subordinate Deal with Tricky Team Members
If you don’t like the prospect of dealing with employee confrontations, you should assign a subordinate to handle them for you. The subordinate can act as your spokesperson in listening to grievances of the employees. This will allow you to avoid facing uncomfortable situations.
4. Avoid Situations that Over-Stimulates You
Introverts have a sensitive brain chemistry due to which they get over stimulated easily. To avoid being stressed out at work, you must identify the situations that make easily agitated, and find effective workaround to minimize the inconvenience. You might also consider reading Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person or physiological self-regulation tactics to know how to recover after being over stimulated in a crowd.
5. Imbue the Team with Motivation and Energy
One of the important tasks of a leader is to motivate the team in a way that results in optimal productivity. If you don’t like stirring the team through pep talks or social gathering, you can offer one-on-one motivation sessions with each employee.
Also, consider hiring a business consulting firm to assess the motivation and satisfaction level of the employees and devise strategies to boost the morale of the team.
6. Know How to Delegate Effectively
Project management cannot be successful without delegation. An effective project manager knows the value of delegating tasks. By delegating activities, you will better be able to focus on the strategic aspects of managing a project. When you trust people and delegate appropriate activities, you will also be able to gain confidence and create rapport among the team.
Micromanaging tasks will be counterproductive. Instead, you must leverage the abilities of the team by assigning the right task to the right people. This will allow you to accomplish better results and create a more congenial working atmosphere where the employee won’t’ feel stifled by the leadership style.
7. Adopt a Learning Mindset
A learning mindset is a belief that you can improve your skills in managing people and projects. You need to have a growth mindset and avoid thinking of your abilities as fixed. Consider taking a public speaking class to brush up your skills. There are a lot of studies that show that people with a learning mindset experience more success. You may also take into consideration pursuing a diploma in project management online to further your education and level up your skills at the same time.
8. Know when to Step Out of the Comfort Zone
An introvert feels most comfortable when working alone. They don’t like the prospect of spending time with others. However, sometimes you have to get out of the comfort zone once in a while when leading a project even if you feel that it’s not any useful.
9. Schedule time for Recovery
Introverts feel emotionally drained quickly when in the company of a group. That’s why important that you schedule time for recovery to recharge your batteries. You should be strategic on how you spend your time and energy.
Tell others not to visit your office during a certain time of the day. You don’t need to perpetuate your downtime by constantly being in the company of others otherwise, you will easily feel stressed and burned out.
10. Be Open about Introversion
You must be transparent and frank about your introversion. In this way, people won’t judge you if you don’t make effort to mingle with them at the office. They would be more accepting of your reticent behavior if they learn that you feel more comfortable spending time alone as compared having small talk in the company of others.