Career Trends: How to lead meetings that work for Introverts, Extroverts & Ambiverts

3 min read

Edition: September 13th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


 It is imperative to acknowledge and effectively lead by taking into account each individual’s personality. (Image Source: lifehack.org)

It is crucial to tap into the different personality traits in your workplace to cultivate a supportive, inclusive atmosphere. There are extensive studies in personality psychology examining the dynamic ways we think, feel and behave.

There are 3 major personality traits: extrovert, ambivert and introvert. However, personality traits lie on a spectrum and will likely evolve throughout one’s lifetime.

It is imperative to acknowledge and effectively lead by taking into account each individual’s personality.

Here are common traits associated with extroverts, introverts and ambiverts:

Extroverts

  • Get their high energy, motivation and social stimulation from engaging with others in group environments.
  • Are warm, talkative, enthusiastic, friendly and enjoy being the center of attention. 
  • Are active in meetings and confidently speak and participate in group settings.
  • Openly and freely discuss problems and ask questions.
  • Are flexible, adaptable and spontaneous when faced with unforeseen issues.

Introverts

  • Recharge and refocus their energy by carving out important alone time away from others.
  • Prefer to observe rather than speak and are more self-aware.
  • Are reserved and more likely to internalise and participate in quiet reflection rather than communicate problems or ask for guidance.
  • Prefer smaller groups and fewer interactions.
  • Open up slowly and desire deeper conversations over small talk. 

You may find that you exhibit some of both introvert and extrovert qualities. That means you’re most likely an ambivert. Data indicates that ambiverts are more common than introverts or extroverts.

Ambiverts

  • Are more assertive, enthusiastic, empathic and stable. 
  • Thrive in the spotlight in social situations, as well as enjoy personal, quiet downtime. 
  • Are naturally skilled and effective communicators.
  • Learn towards indecision since they are open to most things. 
  • Are chameleon-like, comfortable in small talk, group settings and intimate conversations.

Here are four best meeting practices to help all of the introverts, extroverts and ambiverts at your company succeed:

1. Distribute all important information beforehand

Make sure people attending the meeting get all information, agendas, questions, problems, brainstorms or talking points in advance. Preparation beforehand allows everyone the advantage to process, digest and prepare thoughtful feedback without being caught off guard. 

2. Start meetings with unique icebreakers

Engaging, lighthearted activities are highly effective team-building tools that cater to all personality types. When we speak up in the first ten minutes of a meeting, we find it easier to chime in again later.

3. Encourage inclusive participation in multiple ways

Instead of putting people on the spot, try splitting into smaller groups (or breakout groups if virtual) that feel less intimidating. Adapt different methods, like providing a talking stick, for those less inclined to participate while simultaneously encouraging interrupters’ opportunities for increased self-awareness. Or have participants write their suggestions, ideas, feedback on paper that gets displayed on a whiteboard for everyone to see. 

4. Ask questions

Directly ask your employees for written feedback on their ideal work day, how they like to communicate, what tools, methods or practices they need to get their work done, how they prefer meetings, how they recharge, etc. Learn how your team thrives and where there is room for improvement to encourage and best support them. 


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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