The world of business is commonly seen as belonging in the domain of naturally gregarious and outgoing people. Indeed, personality tests like the Miggs-Bryer typologies commonly list “entrepreneur” and “business coach” as ideal matches for extroverted people. Your own experience might confirm these suspicions, and it wouldn’t be that surprising; business coaches commonly deal with, and interact, with large numbers of people in a day. On top of that, being a successful coach requires a considerable degree of charisma and persuasiveness, traits that introverted people aren’t known to possess.
These are all broad generalizations, but these stereotypes exist for a reason. With that said, a person’s personality type does not dictate their destiny unless they decide that it does. While introverted people are less likely to be drawn to a profession like business coaching, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be successful at what they do. While extroverts are great at conversation and the art of persuasion, their glib demeanor can sometimes come across as domineering and self-centered. Introverts make great listeners, as they are less likely to speak until they feel confident in what they have to say.
Introverted business coaches bring several crucial traits to the table that extroverted business coaches might have trouble providing. The following traits are common of successful business coaches who have more withdrawn personality types.
1) They know how to listen
This might seem like a less-desirable trait in an industry that is built upon demonstration, but business coaches aren’t just there to tell you how to do things. A good business coach needs to know how to be receptive to the unique needs of each of their clients. This is what allows them to tailor their approach to the challenges that their particular client is facing. Extroverted people naturally take the center of attention in conversations, which sometimes leads them to focus on what they want at the expense of the person they are trying to help.
Introverts don’t speak as often and won’t usually initiate a conversation, but their reserved monikers hide some very insightful observations. Introverts will more often let you speak and share with them your own plans and ideas before they give you feedback. Good coaching isn’t just about telling people how to do things, but guiding the person towards unleashing their potential as an entrepreneur. Listening to them is as important as talking to them.
2) They give their ideas a lot of thought
Because introverts talk less, they tend to measure their words more carefully before they speak. Extroverts don’t necessarily lack in this regard, but a person who throws out lots of idea and suggestions without giving them a lot of thought is more commonly an extrovert. Introverts generally don’t speak unless they are confident in what they have to say, and that confidence stems from giving that idea a lot of thought and consideration beforehand. This is a quality-versus-quantity issue: extroverts will give you twenty ideas that may or may not work, while introverts will give you one really great, well-thought out idea.
Both of these personality archetypes have their respective strengths when it comes down to providing advice to the people that they are coaching. Having introverts on your team means that you receive the full spectrum.
3) They represent the other side of the workforce
Extroverts and introverts tend to drift towards certain lines of work. Extroverts can be found working as salespeople, entrepreneurs, performers, customer service representatives, consultants – basically any job that involves working with lots of people. This experience is without a doubt invaluable when making the decision to become a business coach, but it only represents one part of the workforce.
Introverts, by contrast, are much more likely to be accountants, judges, engineers, scientists – any field that requires a person to focus for long periods of time without a lot of interaction with other people. These fields require a level of technical expertise that extroverts are less likely to have, but the perspective gained from doing these kinds of jobs is no less important. Having introverts on your business coach team ensures that you receive a full range of experiences and knowledge that can be passed down to the next group of aspiring entrepreneurs.