It can be easy to forget an introvert in the room. Those that don’t raise their hands, jump up in protest or appreciation, or carry the charge into the fray. However, physical silence does not correlate to complete silence–the fact is most of your introverts have just as much to say as your extroverts. The great challenge, however, is to find ways to bring your introvert voices into the conversation without force or making them feel uncomfortable.
1 – Break Large Groups Into Focus Groups
Are your meetings often on the large side? Even with groups of just 10 or more, introverts can start to fade into the background. Make a point to break up your meetings into focus sessions–and if you find particular difficulties with empowering introverts, make sure to take an active role in creating subgroups. Team up introverts so they are on equal footing and ensured to have a time to speak when each group presents their findings.
2 – Utilize Programs To Capture Vibes and Feelings
A common HR challenge is getting a handle on the pulse of an organization when half the voices never speak up. It isn’t difficult to gauge the satisfaction level of an extrovert–but HR managers are left to wonder about their introverts. Which can be even more exasperating when they quit out of nowhere. Introverts may never feel comfortable voicing concerns directly–but there are anonymous SaaS options on the market that will allow you the opportunity to poll introverts in a way that keeps them from feeling too pressured or under a spotlight.
3 – Move Everyone Out Of Their Comfort Zone
The same meeting structures every month will usually yield the same results. In our role as a music team building company, we are often charged with bringing a new element to meetings. These unique meetings present company managers with the opportunity to move everyone out of their comfort zone and into a new territory. Extroverts and introverts won’t react similarly, but it does provide the opportunity for everyone to engage and shake things up to find a common ground between different personalities.
4 – Assign Leading Roles To Introverts
This may seem counterintuitive but actually some of the best leaders are well known introverts. They are known for active listening and more comprehensive approaches to team building. They may not be the first to raise their hands but when called upon to lead a team, your very capable introverts will likely shine.
5 – Listen Differently
Introverts have a way of voicing opinions that don’t always result in many words. But attuning your managers to listen in different ways may help you zone in on what your introverts are communicating. Pulling out those storylines through tuning into non-verbal communication, written responses or even the old school suggestion box may help you hear all the voices in your company. Showcase introvert contributions to help others see what they cannot always hear.