Are you an introverted CEO? Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively
My name is Frank Calderoni and I am an introverted CEO. While many people assume that leadership roles require a natural level of extroversion, there are more of us than you might think. One study found that 70 percent of CEOs described themselves as introverts and another found introversion to be a hallmark of high performing chief executives.
Communicating to big crowds or to your employees concerning difficult topics can feel intimidating. However, both are crucial for creating a company culture underpinned by empathy where feedback can be given and received well, where employees feel supported, and where they understand their role to play in your organization’s broader purpose.
According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, “my employer” was seen as a more trustworthy source of information than businesses, NGOs, government or the media. This means your employees are looking to you to sort out the truth from misinformation. As leaders, we must be able to live up to that call.
I will share the strategies and tools that have helped me most in becoming a more successful communicator.
1. Get over the fear of saying the wrong thing. The only way to overcome that discomfort is to have positive experiences. I started with safe groups or teams of people I knew and trusted. The goal was always to see how I could do better next time. I learned that when you do make a mistake, the best thing to do is own it, correct it and move on. When it comes to communications, it’s not our job to be perfect; it’s our job to make sure our employees know they can trust us.
2. Seek constant feedback. I make a point of going to my trusted sources who will tell me the honest, unvarnished truth. At times, I have received cringe-worthy feedback where I instantly wanted to defend myself. But I paused because those who gave me this feedback cared enough to tell me. I thanked them and I did my best to improve for the next time.
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