Leadership demands many social obligations. In my experience, senior executives can sometimes be, well, not exactly anti-social but perhaps uncomfortable in business social settings, like conference receptions or cocktail parties or industry events.
They know they have an important obligations, roles and duties in these situations — representing the company, meeting as many people as possible, remembering names and faces, impressing people with their charm and authenticity, oh, and not spilling anything while ”gripping and grinning.”
Some leaders are able to handle all of this better than others. It’s more difficult for those who moved up the ranks from being a technical expert to join management and lead people if they aren’t naturally adept in social situations. You’ve probably heard this old joke before, but I’ll tailor it here:
“How do you tell an outgoing thought leader from an introverted one? They stare at your shoes during a party.”
Are you maximizing your personal impact in different social situations by being extroverted–and that does not imply you should be wearing a lampshade as a party hat– or is your natural shyness a hindrance to getting the most out of every event? Do you need some guidance and tips to help you maneuver around social obstacles outside the office?
Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!