The former Falkirk and Hibernian boss replaced Terry Butcher last week.
He only took charge of the Highlanders two days before last Saturday's 0-0 draw with St Mirren in Paisley and was happy to let coaches Duncan Shearer and Scott Kellacher lead the way.
But Shinnie says Hughes has played a bigger role this week and has been quick to impress his passing philosophy upon his new charges.
The left-back told CaleyJagsTV: "It's been a really exciting week - a lot different to what I am used to.
"The new manager has come and he has got a different style compared to Terry Butcher. The training is good, especially the way he works on passing.
"He has his own style of football and the way that he wants us to play, with an emphasis on passing. It's completely different. I can't wait for Saturday."
Inverness - second in the Scottish Premiership - travel to Tynecastle to take on an administration-hit Hearts side who have shipped 11 goals in their last two games.
Those defeats to Celtic and Dundee United may have been painful for the Jambos but Shinnie is in no mood to show mercy as he eyes up a bundle of points ahead of a busy festive schedule.
"This is the crunch time in the league with a lot of games coming up," he said. "It's a good time of the season to get a run going, put points on the board and cement where we are in the table.
"I've seen Hearts a couple of times this season and they have a lot of good players who have no fear and a re full of energy. They will always pose us a threat.
"But the way we have been playing, keeping clean sheets, is very promising. We will look to get an early goal at Tynecastle then keep it tight. Hopefully after that we can go on and score a few more."