Managers are generally authoritative, daring leaders. On the other hand, shy people are likely to hold back, be reserved in conversations, and even avoid social interactions. A very interesting question now is whether or not shy people can be effective leaders.

If you are a shy type and you happen to be promoted as a manager, there is no doubt that you will be facing some serious challenges. To be successful, it will take conscious effort on your part to work on your leadership skills every single day.

For those who are on the management path, but feel that their shy personality is a huge hindrance towards becoming an effective leader, the following are some of the biggest challenges you’re going to face. There are tips also on how you can get through these challenges.

1. Getting to know more about your team.

It seems really simple to get to know someone or some people. All you need to do is introduce yourself to them, and vice versa. No matter how easy this might seem, this is a huge challenge for people with shy personality.

If you are not a natural talker, you’ve got to find a way to know your team members in a way that’s comfortable for you. For instance, you could arrange for individual meetings with them. This way, you won’t have to be standing in a room with everyone looking at you and waiting for you to say something.

You can set up meetings in advance so that both you and your employees will have enough time to prepare. You may email out an agenda of the things you want to talk about (what their background is, what their current responsibilities are, what career goals they have, etc.). The more you get to know each of your members, the easier it will be for you eventually to interact with them.

2. Having a difficult conversation.

If knowing your employees is tough for you, can you imagine how it would feel like if you had to talk to an employee whom you have to reprimand, or worse, terminate? No manager finds these kinds of conversations easy, and so for shy managers, these can be too scary.

Confrontations are not easy for many of us. It would help a lot if you could have a mentor who will teach you and guide you through these types of conversations. You should observe how your mentor handles such conversations, and as time goes by, you need to learn to do it yourself.

3. Being a leader with authority.

You are the boss, so you have to act and speak like one. You need to lead meetings, set goals, delegate tasks, assign projects, and motivate your team to meet all those objectives. For shy people, speaking to people with authority and boldness is not easy at all.

Well, there is no easy way around this. You’ve got to know your team well, so you will be more comfortable talking to them. Again, you may start with one-on-one conversations until you become more familiar with each of them.

It is very important also that you be prepared whenever you have to say something to your group. You have to expect them to ask so many questions, and so you need to be ready to answer all of them. When you successfully do, you will naturally grow more confident, and it will be much easier for you to speak to them directly.

Bottom Line

Being a manager is a great opportunity for career advancement, so you’ve got to be good at it. You can’t let even your own shyness get in the way of you being an effective manager. If at all possible, take part in an executive coaching program so you could learn from experienced leaders.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.