Our October CSM Office Hours focused on work with and leading introverts.
Introverts can be an under-utilized segment of our teams, especially when led or surrounded by extroverts. If you can give them the space and conditions that allow them to flourish, their value and skillsets will help amplify the effectiveness of your teams.
The questions considered by the breakout sessions were:
- What steps do you take as a leader to identify introverts that work for and with you (we can be tricky to spot)?
- How do you adjust your management or engagement style to best harness their skills?
- This doesn’t just apply to peers/staff, but to customers as well
- Meet them where they are
- How do they like to communicate?
- How do they prefer to receive recognition?
- Sometimes it is easier for an introvert to have their skillset recognized rather than having the spotlight on them directly
- The pandemic has shifted traditional lines
- People who were extroverts now find themselves displaying introvert tendencies (more people with blended characteristics)
- How to recognize introverts
- In a group setting, those who tend to speak up are usually extroverts
- How to support introverts in a team setting
- Pre-reads – give information out ahead of time along with any discussion points so they have a chance to prepare
- Zoom – utilize break-out sessions – small groups are often easier to engage with
- Seeing folks drop out of these, so make sure the leadership is communicating the value and the goal (‘We want to hear from you’)
- Townhalls – discuss business/feedback
- Watercooler sessions – make it a casual and small environment
- Host meet and greets within the organization
- Using private messaging to encourage them to speak rather than calling on them in the group setting
- Inquiry assignments rather than putting people on the spot – make thing more reflective, and demonstrate how it leads to outcomes/outputs
- Challenge the person who speaks the most in meetings to try to match the amount of speaking from the quietest person on the call
- Purposefully include introverts in a conversation, but be aware of their comfort level
- Use one on ones more frequently
- Pair and introvert with an extrovert within the team
- Make sure they know their work matters and has value
- Use collaborative tools to support their engagement in a more comfortable way
- Digital whiteboards
- Chat features
- Shared docs for comments, etc
- Address any dominating personalities
- ‘Let’s take this offline’
- Have a clear agenda of what you are trying to achieve
- With increasing blending between the two, ‘All’ statements can be discouraging to hear
- Watch for potential issues
- Some introverts get uncomfortable when told to have their camera on in a large group setting
- Loudest voice is often the one who is heard even if they do not have the best idea
- Recognize that silence is ok
- It can be difficult for an introvert to see a career path, so take time to help them identify their goals and how to get there
- Don’t use a broad brush when talking about introverts and extroverts
- Among Us
- Use personality tests (Myers-Briggs, etc) to do celebrity alignment presentations and insights
- Virtual breakouts – use Gatheraround with questions to ask each other
Handout with additional resources