Speaking up in meetings can be a challenge for introverts. Because social interaction often makes them feel drained, introverts tend to excel at thinking and working individually. Although they may feel overwhelmed by extroverts rapidly speaking up during meetings, introverts pay close attention and implement what they learn. However, since interactions and collaborations are a required part of business, it’s important that introverts share ideas and are heard. Here are five ways to get your introverted employees to speak up during meetings. For help finding top accounting and finance professionals, contact Alliance Resource Group, leading Corporate Finance Recruiters in Manhattan Beach.
Create a Welcoming Culture
Provide a culture that includes everyone’s voices. Pay attention to everyone’s ideas and thoughts, not just the extroverts who consistently speak up during meetings. Remind everyone not to interrupt others or dominate conversations. Encourage introverts to expand on others’ ideas and provide their own thoughts. Make everyone feel appreciated for their contributions.
Send an Agenda in Advance
Email your meeting agenda 24 hours beforehand. Introverts need time to think through what they want to say before speaking. Proving context and a chance to prepare encourages introverts to share their thoughts. Giving a heads up on discussion topics allows time for introverts to rehearse the input they want to add during the meeting.
Customize Your Approach
Find out which individual approach encourages each introvert to speak up during meetings. Different methods will work for different team members. Privately speak with each introvert about the importance of having a voice in group discussions. Let them know you want to put their ideas front and center in a way that makes them feel comfortable. Ask for ideas on how to support each introvert in doing so. Perhaps they’ll lean forward, make eye contact or give another sign that they would like the floor. Tailor your approaches accordingly.
Bring Up a Previous Conversation
If you had a prior conversation with an introvert about a meeting topic, bring up the conversation during the meeting. Ask the team member to share their thoughts with the group. Empower them by giving them the floor and time to elaborate on their ideas. Providing a sense of agency creates an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing thoughts on their own.
Offer Time to Think
Allow time for teammates to think about the discussion topic. Introverts need to process information and formulate ideas before sharing them. When the meeting begins, mention the subjects you’ll be talking about. Let everyone know you’ll ask each to weigh in with their thoughts. Carve out time to process ideas and information before asking teammates to respond with their reflections.
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