Engaging Introverts in Remote MeetingsPosted in : HR Updates ROI on 17 February 2022
With the move to remote and hybrid working, it has become increasingly important to ensure all members of your team are engaged, whether that be in team meetings, group projects, team building exercises or training sessions. It is worth considering how each individual team member contributes to the meeting or discussion. For example, extroverted individuals tend to be more comfortable offering their ideas or thoughts while introverted individuals usually feel more comfortable staying quiet in group settings. This however, does not mean that their ideas or thoughts are any less relevant. So, the question is, how do we engage our introverted team members, to ensure we are maximizing our team’s full potential?
Understanding Work Styles
There are several tests and questionnaires that individuals can take that will reveal their work style. At The HR Suite, all members of the team have taken a questionnaire and have consented for their results to be shared with the team. The report gives an idea of each team member’s work style and also gives a helpful guide on the best way to communicate with each team member. The report reveals team members natural instincts and shows that management may need to adopt a different approach to communicating with various individuals. Recognising different workstyles and incorporating different communication methods makes all team members more comfortable in engaging in various discussions in the workplace.
Individual Communication Sessions
While hosting one, all-encompassing team meeting can save on time, it is not always the most effective way to engage all team members. Hosting regular, one-to-one sessions with each member of your team allows the individual the time and space to communicate their goals, ideas and thoughts. It also confirms to each team member that they are being heard, regardless of their willingness to express their thoughts and opinions in group settings.
Different Methods of Gathering Feedback
When asking for opinions or feedback in a group setting, it can be difficult for introverts to express their thoughts on the spot and in front of the team. Using different methods such as asking them to provide feedback in an email by a certain deadline or posting the request for feedback on a team’s discussion board and asking for replies, allows the team member to form cohesive thoughts and write them out, rather than feeling that pressure when put on the spot.
There are various tools that can be used to make introverts more comfortable when on the spot feedback, thoughts and opinions are required. For example, sites such as Menti can be used to allow individuals to provide thoughts anonymously and in real time. They simply type their answer on their screen and the contribution appears anonymously on the screen of the host, who can also choose to share the contributions on the screen. Other tools work similarly and can be used in a group setting where anonymity may not be required. These tools are a useful way to gain thoughts and insight in real time, without putting pressure on introverts to speak out in group sessions.
A simple but useful tip can also be to publish a meeting agenda with each meeting. It allows team members to understand what may be expected of them in the meeting and gives them the time to prepare their thoughts on the subject matter. Reducing the element of surprise can often make introverts more comfortable with sharing their thoughts in a group setting as they are given time to prepare them in advance.
The goal is to create a space in which all team members feel comfortable contributing their feedback, thoughts, ideas and opinions. What is clear from the above tips is that communication is key. If you are unsure how to make your employees more comfortable engaging in remote meetings, simply ask them directly how you can improve the experience for them. Don’t be afraid to trial different methods and adopt the one that has suited your team the most.
This article is correct at 17/02/2022
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