The Introverted Team, Part 2


I had such fabulous replies to yesterday’s post about the horrors of having an all introvert team that I decided to do a follow up piece.

Jay Dee said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a group that’s all introverts. With that said, I’d probably want to speak. But maybe addressing each person and asking about their thoughts may work. Unless you tried that.”

That’s a good idea, and I tried it, but it has its pitfalls.  Since introverts like to really think through a scenario before answering, you can’t present something new and immediately ask for feedback.  Introverts need time to think, even in a group that they’re used to, and putting them on the spot can make them shut down even more.  What I haven’t tried is to put out a topic and give everyone five minutes to write down questions or comments.  That might work.

That ties in to Cherrie‘s suggestion of using the post it notes.  (Love your travel pics, BTW!)  Like her, I work in software development.  It’s a profession crammed full of introverts, but this is the first time I haven’t had any extroverts on a team.  Everyone is comfortable in the scrum meeting because the format is the same every day… what did you do yesterday, what are you doing today, and is anything standing in your way.  But come up with a new question and communication shuts down.  Francine has found the post-it notes to be helpful, too.  My team is spread out around the country, so one of the things we’ve started doing is using virtual post-it notes in the form of a Trello board.  It’s great for virtual collaboration.

Katharine Marie talks privately to others who are more extroverted and has them bring up topics in meetings.  That got me to wondering how many in the team were doing that.  I did find a couple of people and am reaching out to them privately to see how I can better accommodate them.  (KM, have fun at Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m a NaNoWriMo veteran myself.  I loved writing a novel in one month.)

Juliann suggests a well structured agenda that calls on everyone to have a speaking role.  I think that’s a great idea.  Patricia had a similar idea.

Carrie and Trisha seem to appreciate having extroverts in the group, while Emilio has had more than his fair share of those noisy people.  I know what he means.  I used to sit near John, a pompous ass (pardon my French) who couldn’t think a single thought in silence.  If it was in his head, it came out his mouth.  The man never stopped yakking away.  One of the joys of being a telecommuter is that I have silence to think in.

My big challenge is working with a team that is busy creating a presentation on American Culture.  But that is the subject of my next blog.

Thanks to all of you for contributing your insight.  It’s fun to be able to share.

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another.  Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.

3 thoughts on “The Introverted Team, Part 2

  1. Good morning, Chris. I didn’t comment on your previous post because my suggestion would be the same as Jay Dee’s. Like you said, we (introverts) like to think through a scenario before answering. If you can email the questions to them before the meeting, and ask them to come up with some idea, I think they will feel more comfortable.
    (Now I know how much troubles I had created for my team leader 😉
    Have a great day.

    • I was going to suggest this, too, as it works for me; even emailing an agenda and questions / topics the day before gives people some time to think. If I have to come up with an answer immediately, I usually end up saying stuff I don’t mean or haven’t thought through. Time to think makes all the difference.

Share with us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s