How being an introvert can be beneficial for your business: Ryan Daniels

3rd January 2023

Take a look on LinkedIn any day of the week and you will see business leaders shouting about what they are best at. And so they should - that’s what the platform exists for, after all.

But the proliferation of social media in our lives can make it appear as though constant output, validation seeking and stimulation is the only way to get ahead.

For roughly one third of the population, that isn’t the case. Nor is it desirable.

I’m talking, of course, about introverts. This personality type is estimated to be outnumbered about three to one by extroverts.

Being an introvert means you are generally focused on internal feelings rather than external sources of stimulation.

Many people lie somewhere in the middle of the scale between the two extremes.

I’m definitely an introvert. After World Introvert Day (yes, that really is a thing) taking place yesterday, I wanted to talk quietly about some of the ways being an introvert is actually beneficial in business.

Research has shown that introverts take longer to process information than extroverts. Rather than being a negative, that means they take extra time to understand ideas in depth before moving on to a solution.

While as a boss you sometimes need to make a quick decision, carefully considered insight is incredibly valuable, and rare, in the workplace.

Introverts also tend to be better at listening than talking.

Listening is underrated and I count this so-called ‘soft skill’ as one of the most important there is. It’s certainly helped me on my journey over the years, from graphic designer to managing director.

Listening means you can understand a client’s needs fully, absorb knowledge from others and hear all sides of a story before making a decision.

It’s absolutely crucial for anybody in a leadership position. Listening leads nicely on to empathy.

Being sensitive to the needs of others without feeling the need to project outwards in return makes you a key ally for many in the office and outside it.

When you truly see things from someone else’s perspective, it can be a game-changer for solving problems.

At our digital agency in Sheffield, we specialise in providing bespoke solutions to problems, so need to be able to experience the issues as though it was our own business.

Remaining calm and balanced, even under chaotic circumstances, is also something introverts excel at.

Consider the last few years of circumstances - Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, political and financial instability - and it’s clear we all need someone unruffled at the helm!

Finally, there is a strong link between creativity and introversion. Introverts often choose to express themselves through their work instead of other methods.

While this means they may work better independently, you can be sure they will come up with creative methods which are a little bit out of the box.

The world of business can seem like it is designed solely for extroverts, with open plan offices and a focus on constant achievement ever present.

But if you are more of an introvert, the chances are you’ve got an excellent range of entrepreneurial skills under your belt already.

Ryan Daniels is managing director at Hydra Creative in Sheffield.