Introverted Leadership Toolkit
Managing Energy
The Perceptions of Others
Managing Your Profile
Leading Teams
One-to-one Relationships
Networking and Socialising
Self Perception
Personal Space
Reflecting and Synthesising
Embracing Introversion
Learning and Development
Positive experiences of learning and development
What doesn’t work
More, earlier and better
Research Methodology
Network and Feedback
Contact Us

Learning and Development

Positive experiences of learning and development


Unsurprisingly, introverted leaders particularly valued support they had received on a one-to-one basis, such as from a coach or mentor:

  • “Coaching helped on a number of levels – understanding myself but also unpacking my thinking and raising my profile when I needed to.”

  • “It is important to me to have a mentor and I have enjoyed coaching sessions on a one-to-one basis.”

  • “I am always happy in a one-to-one situation and so have gone for mentoring, approaching expert individuals on an individual basis.”

  • [What helped me was] “Having an introverted leader as a trainer and coach!”

Many introverted leaders commented that the Myers Briggs tool had been helpful to them but this seemed to be dependent on the facilitator:

  • “MBTI has been the single most valuable tool that has allowed me to learn about my own needs and preferences. It has given a name and a meaning to something that didn’t seem quite right when I was growing up: ‘Introversion’ was something that needed fixing and that if I were more extrovert then I would be successful / happy / content etc. I cannot identify any other aspect of my education that has enabled me to understand and accept that introversion is okay.”

  • “Myers Briggs – about the third time round! Particularly an exercise where the facilitator split us into introvert and extrovert groups so we could really understand differences – and see the extrovert colleagues who had tried but failed to understand us in a different group!”

Introverted leaders talked about learning best on their own, using their intuitive reflection, to learn lessons based on their own observations:

  • “I think I learn best from observing people. I’m fairly intuitive and can recognise good and bad behaviour in a leadership setting. I suppose this would count as experiential learning. I also reflect a lot and assess my own performance in situations, particularly new settings. I tend to be quite self critical and rarely seek feedback as a means of moderating my own assessment.”

  • “You have to learn to accept yourself as you are. Training in the formal sense has never helped me much although I enjoy some of it. I have needed to train myself. As my mind constantly replays, reflects and sifts what has happened this is not a burden.”

  • “I attended a leadership development programme which included a week called a ‘deliberative’, this was designed to slow us down and give us strategies for thinking. I found it absolutely invaluable and carry the lessons with me to this day… I often go for a ten to fifteen minute walk on my own at lunchtime, these were called ‘deliberative walks’ on the programme!”

Introverted leaders value talking to other introverts:

  • “It is helpful to have met other introverted leaders and talking to them about how they have coped is very supportive.”

  • “… best resource has been friendship discussions with like minded managers.”

  • “Occasional conversations with other introverts when I have realised I am not alone – and that I am an introvert rather than a dysfunctional human being!!”

Introverted leaders value feedback:

  • “The SHA Leadership Programme was very helpful as it was based on a good understanding of the individual nature of leadership and building your own identity and style.”

  • “Very specific feedback about what needed to be different.”

  • “Three hundred and sixty degree feedback to enable me to be more specific about where others might feel that a higher level of engagement would help me in the performance of a role.”