7 Ways to Maximize Quiet Leaders

Quiet, slow-movers frustrate talkative, quick movers.

Those who think, speak, and commit quickly, often believe they’re superior to leaders who need time.

One of the worst things leaders do is over-value people who are like them.

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Big mouths aren’t better than small and quick isn’t better than slow.

In praise of quiet and slow:

Those who commit slowly, stick with you when times get tough. But, those who commit quickly defect quickly. I can see a flash-in-the-pan a mile away. They get all charged up at a moments notice. But, two days later they’re burned out and gone.

Quick says, “Get it done.” But, those who take their time say, “Let’s do it right and make sure we succeed.”

Quiet means, “I need time to think this over.” Don’t assume quiet means they’re detached or disengaged. For example, I  thought I was giving enough space in the conversations I’m having with a quiet leader. But, when I asked if I moved the conversation forward too quickly, he paused and said, “Yes.” He went on to say, “I’m comfortable with uncomfortable silence.”

Talkers talk it out. Quiet leaders think it out.

7 ways to maximize quiet leaders:

  1. Don’t judge them quickly. Their silence isn’t consent or rejection. They’re thinking it over.
  2. Give them time to commit. If they commit, they’ll stick.
  3. Provide silence. Too much talking feels like pressure to a quiet person.
  4. Don’t evaluate them by their up front work.
  5. Don’t pressure them to be up front. But, if they want to be up front, work with them.
  6. Tell them what’s important. Don’t just send them out to get it done.
  7. Respect their space. They shut down or lash out when you get in their face.

Bonus: Ask a question and wait.

How can loud leaders value and maximize quiet leaders?

What are the unique dangers quiet leaders face?