Your workplace is made up of people with different personalities. One of the most obvious is the introverts versus the extroverts. Since these two personality types tend to perform much differently in meetings, you can take steps to ensure everyone has an opportunity to feel comfortable. This will help you maximize participation.
Start with something no one expects
It can strike fear into the heart of an introvert to always expect the unexpected—except when it’s something fun. Start your meetings with an activity that will help everyone relax and get talking before you get down to business. This can include:
- A walk outside.
- Taking the meeting offsite at a local coffee shop.
- Telling a joke, or sharing jokes.
- A group brainstorm.
- An activity—either group, individual or paired off in teams.
- A game.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s accessible to everyone, helps stimulate conversation and encourages participation. Most of all, choose things that are fun!
Why this works
Extroverts usually don’t need any prompting to speak up, but may appreciate an activity that helps them get their minds warmed up and prepared to think, discuss and share. Introverts do better at meetings if they’ve spoken within the first few minutes of the meeting. When they put off speaking, it becomes harder until the meeting reaches its end and they haven’t said anything at all. An activity that prompts communication from everyone at the very beginning of a meeting is a perfect way to help your employees settle in and open up. Plus, when they know meetings will open in this manner, it can help employees look forward to these gatherings, rather than dread them.
Consider conference calls
Adding conference calls into the mix can also help keep your meetings productive, especially for introverts. So consider mixing things up by scheduling a conference call here and there in place of an in-person meeting. Conference call meetings come with their own challenges, though, so it’s a good idea to use these as an option, but not the norm.
Build up your staff
Meeting with your employees regularly will give you a clear picture of how everything is going. But if you notice your workers have become overwhelmed, it may be time to add more staff. And if you’re looking for office/administrative and light industrial workers, contact Inter-Connect. To learn more, reach out today!