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.)
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.