Knowing Your Team
Part of leading a team is knowing the people who make up your team. An effective leader is able to identify the personality traits of team members and help them use their talents to strengthen the team.
Identifying introverts on your team is important because those team members may communicate in a different way. If you are able to understand how and why they communicate it will not only benefit them but you.
There are three different ways to effectively manage and identify introverts on your team.
1. Communications Style
Notice how there are some folks who don’t seem to speak up in meetings but they’ll write a follow-up email after the meeting? Introverts often prefer to communicate after they’ve had a chance to think about what they will say. If you notice there are certain people who stay quieter in team meetings, there are some ways to foster a more collaborative discussion environment so you can learn more about their preferences:
- Spend more 1-1 time with them as they might appreciate that personability
- Give them time and space, but also set clear deadlines
- If they prefer written communications, allow them to communicate in that format and don’t fault them for it
You may find that your team member is full of fantastic ideas and is happy to share those with you. You’ll just need to create that environment where they’ll be comfortable and safe enough to express themselves. You want to make sure they feel valued.
It’s all about being prepared. For example, say your best engineer has information that you’d like him or her to present to the executive team. Even though they may shy away from this opportunity – share with them that you think they’re capable and it’s important they share with others what they’re doing. The key though is giving them enough time to prepare for it.
By saying that you acknowledge the time they need can also make them feel like you understand them, which is a key leadership trait. Another way to support them is to consider offering them continuing education such as our e-course on The Art Of Communication. Supporting introverts on your team will help increase your team’s productivity.
An effective leader wants everyone on their team to be successful.
One way you can identify who may be more introverted and to get them to participate is to first notice it. If they appear extremely shy, schedule 1-1 time with them to better understand their needs and how you can support them:
- Ask how they prefer to work.
- Do they prefer to work alone? If so, is there a way for you to arrange their work environment to accommodate this while still being inclusive?
- Ask how they prefer to communicate. Can you expect them to call you, email you, text you if they have questions?
- Ask if they need more quiet times. This is so if you’re seeing that your team is often jumping from meeting to meeting. Do they need a break from the team and meetings so they can concentrate on the task at hand? Will that help them be more productive and efficient?
As a leader, you want everyone on your team to not only work together but to also work at their highest capacity. Fostering an environment where everyone is able to do so in a way they’re most comfortable while also being a team player is possible. It starts with open communications and dialogue. Tailoring your leadership style to each individual as well as them to you will foster understanding. Trust will be built and it’ll help you reach your goals and objectives.
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