People make assumptions about introverts. I know. I am an introvert. Some people can question whether they are or not. I don’t. I’m certified in Myers Briggs, so I know the language well. I’ve studied the concept, but it didn’t require much study or an assessment for me. I know I’m in the club.
As a pastor, it means I am more tired when I go home on Sunday. It means I avoid certain crowds unless I have a clear purpose for being there. Also, it means I usually exercise alone and I’m okay with that. It means I’m probably harder to get to know than some people. I get all that and own it. It’s me.
I realize I have to work harder as a leader to allow my team to know me or what I’m thinking. Introversion can’t be an excuse for poor leadership.
I’ve written before about the assumptions about introverts before and how I adapt with it as a pastor. What surprises me, however, is how misunderstood introverts are sometimes. There are a lot of assumptions about introverts; maybe especially an introverted leader. (And I know lots of pastors – even of very large churches – who are introverted.)
7 Assumptions About Introverts
1. Some think I’m shy.
That may be your word, but it’s not mine. I prefer purposeful for me. Others may call it something else. I talk when there’s a purpose and I’m not afraid to do so. Three year olds are shy when they hide behind their daddy. That’s not me.
2. Some have thought I must need more courage.
This is so inaccurate. Choosing not to speak for me isn’t a fear. It’s just being comfortable.
3. It’s been thought that I must not have anything to say.
Actually, I have lots to say. Have you noticed I blog frequently? I have written a few books. I update Twitter and Facebook frequently. I have a bunch to say. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t express it, but many times how I choose to communicate will be different than how others choose to communicate.