Posts Tagged ‘self-management’

How to Get the Best from Your Introverted Team Members

Introverted feeling types have a wealth of warmth and enthusiasm, but they may not show it until they know someone well. They wear their warm side inside, like a fur-lined coat.” – Isabel Briggs Myers

In our world, the externals including charisma and outgoing personalities get noted and praised starting right from our early school days.

For example, one teacher’s feedback, “Johnny is a confident, active and outgoing child.” On the other hand “Sarah is quiet and withdrawn and doesn’t easily mix with others.”

I wonder if we have an unconscious bias towards ‘quiet’ being seen as “less than” when compared to the more gregarious energetic personalities!

Okay – so we are who we are and here’s what we need to remember:

Both personality preferences – introversion and extraversion – have their strengths and challenges
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As bosses, parents, teachers and community leaders, we need to be mindful that both the extroverted and introverted personality preferences have their own strengths as much as their challenges.

If we are aware of this, we can optimise performance and communication with our colleagues, direct reports, students and even the rebellious teenager, on some occasions!

“Well-developed introverts can deal ably with the world around them when necessary, but they do their best work inside their heads, in reflection. Similarly well-developed extraverts can deal effectively with ideas, but they do their best work externally, in action.” ― Isabel Briggs MyersGifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

Team meetings


Let us look at team meetings where we spend a large chunk of our working time.

Introverted personalities tend to be quieter and not readily discuss their gems in meetings. While for the more extroverted types, speaking their minds or – their thoughts – as they get formulated – is not an issue.

The extroverted personality can come across as confident because they are never short on opinions or a willingness to say whatever is present for them in the moment. This is how they think….in talking it out.

On the other hand, those who are more introverted tend to be more quieter unless they feel really strongly about something and only then they might speak up.

However, when they do speak, they get peoples attention because more often than not, it has real substance and is well thought through.

‘Depth’ is a word that often gets used to describe a team member with introverted preferences.

To get the best from the more introverted team member show that you value their input by inviting them in and asking for their insights and perspective…and give them some time for reflection before reporting back!

Getting the best as their manager

You need to be conscious that they will not be easy initiators so you will need to draw them out by asking for their views.

If you have more introverted preferences yourself then you will naturally have more resonance and empathy here.

As a manager or leader you need to be aware that to get the best out of your more introverted team members (or family members for that matter), you also need to give them time to consider and process things on important agenda items so your asking does not put them on the spot.

While the typical extrovert’s claim of their more introverted team members is, “They do not say much in meetings” the introverts view when probed is, “It is hard to get a word in edge-wise!”

Doing round-robins in a team meeting which is basically doing a round in a circle where everyone gets to contribute their thought, feelings and ideas on the question/topic under discussion ensures that both personality types get to speak and therefore have equal air-time.

The introverted leader


We sometimes overlook the fact that we have just as many introverted as extroverted managers and leaders.

If you are a more introverted leader then know that you may have to make more of an effort to share information, be visible, initiate and express and give praise in ways that inspire and engage and builds a high performing team.

Doing team personality profiling is a great way of understanding your individual and team profile. It provides a common language and can take away a lot of unspoken tension and judgment amongst team members.

Learning about personality and team type is not only fun and helpful for improved work relationships but with family too.

Introversion and Influence

Regardless of our personality types, we all need to get our ideas communicated to those who matter.

If you have read this far, a question I am exploring currently and I would love to hear from you is:

If you identify yourself as more of an introvert, what helps you get your ideas heard and acknowledged with your key stakeholders?

Source:  For further reading, you may wish to look into books on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The work and tool was developed by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers based on the work of Carl Jung.

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How to Manage Your Stress in the Workplace and Home

stress man 1“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” 
– Robert Jordan

Tension, stress and relationship challenges are all part and parcel of our crazy, busy lives – work and home.

Can you recall the last time you felt stressed and challenged at work or home?  Perhaps this was in the recent past or perhaps it is right now that you are facing some big challenges?

The key to our resilience is not so much that these stressors are there but how we deal with it. 

The two extreme strategies that don’t work are avoidance – wishing that the issues would magically disappear, using escape methods such as food, alcohol and drugs or “blowing up” as we vent and take out our frustrations and anger on someone else.  This is even worse when the ‘someone else’ is an unsuspecting spouse or someone close to us.

It has been a while but I still recall how shocked I was when I first discovered that a seemingly  “very together” senior team member actually resorted to using anger to control people and to dominate. Needless to say, they did not last very long in that role.

What works is that instead of reacting and being at the mercy of our emotions, we develop our emotional intelligence and adopt a more constructive, problem-solving approach to whatever we are facing. This is not always easy but necessary.

So how do you respond when you get stressed?  What strategies work best for you when your resilience gets tested?

There are many things we can do to build our resilience and capacity to deal with stressful situations.

Here are a few pointers for your reflection: (more…)

Leadership: Manage Your Emotions

AAEAAQAAAAAAAALOAAAAJDgwMjkzY2I3LTFmZmMtNDZiZC04ODY5LTc3NzA2ODFjNjZkYQ“Self-knowledge is something everyone can grasp. When you understand your emotions, you will have the capacity to understand other peoples emotions too.”
Swami Suddhananda

 

The gift of emotions

The spectre of emotions we experience is a true gift. Imagine a world without the contrast and diversity of experiences and emotions.

In the work place, this can range from the incredible sense of success and team work of a well-executed project to those other times when we have missed out on something, feel mis-understood or attacked.

Feelings and emotions are also viral.  

We have to be conscious that we are not unduly affecting others with our negative emotions which could just be “passing clouds.”

As  managers and leaders we are setting the tone, expectations, climate and culture of our teams and organization.

And nothing seeps or gets picked up faster by others than the non-verbal vibes or careless throw-away comments.

The EQ skills of self-awareness and self-management are vital here to avoid the reactive response when confronted with the unexpected, which one invariably regrets. (more…)

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