The best teams are made up of all sorts of personalities, traits, and characteristics. And it’s the role of team leaders to learn and use them to the best of their ability.
Unfortunately, many project managers will see the skills a team member brings and nothing else. So they tend to address team meetings and engagements the same for everyone.
If you have introverts on your squad (which, if you’re working with remote freelancers, then chances you are), then you want to ensure you keep them in mind.
So here’s how you can organize virtual meetings with them that cater to both the introvert and extrovert.
Wait—What is an Introvert, Anyway?
You’ve likely heard the term a lot over the years, especially as the millennial crowd was intent on establishing their identities in the work world.
In short, introverts are typically shy people in the crowd. They don’t like speaking in public, tend to overthink what to say and do and feel the most comfortable working alone.
So you can imagine how intimidating meetings can be for a group that may want to speak, but can’t or tend to miss out on chances to do so because of overthinking. Others may not wish to join in but are forced to do so by their superiors.
By understanding the introvert and organizing virtual meetings with them in mind, you can ensure they’re included in a comfortable way.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Schedule Meetings Well in Advance
If there’s anything an introvert hates, it’s being put in the spotlight unexpectedly. And although meetings aren’t all about them, it can feel like it, especially if they’re on camera.
Be sure to give advance notice of upcoming meetings (say, one or so days?), so they can prep themselves for the “event.”
You should also consider having a voice-only meeting unless seeing everyone on screen is absolutely necessary.
2. Share a List of Topics That’ll Be Covered
Introverts like to prepare their engagements in advance because they’re the “masters” of planning. When it comes to meetings, knowing what will be discussed will enable them to come up with a list of ideas or questions ahead of time.
It can be difficult thinking on the spot, so it’s easy to forget or overthink a question during a live meeting. By planning in advance, they can feel confident in whatever they have to bring to the table at the meeting.
It’s also a good idea to manage your meetings, so things stay on topic, so you don’t sideline any questions or ideas your introverted team members may want to share.
3. Solicit Ideas from Your Team After the Meeting Ends
There will be some introverts who can’t muster up the strength to speak during the meeting. So rather than ignoring them or putting them in the spotlight, you should reach out after the meeting.
Give them a call or, better yet, send them an email, asking for their ideas on the topics covered. Likely, you’ll receive a message back with some contributions.
This can also help you to spot the introverts among your team. Send this email to everyone who was quiet during the meeting to see if they have something they’d like to add.
It’s not always easy to pinpoint introverts because they’re so great at going unnoticed.
So to help you along…
3 Signs You’re Dealing with an Introvert
If you’re going to switch up how you manage your team meetings, then it’s good to know how to identify introverts. Here are four signs to look for:
- She’s always taking on independent projects (to work alone).
- He makes excuses not to join on company retreats (so everyone can finally meet in person).
- She prefers email and text vs. phone and video calls.
Building a Solid Team of Remote Freelancers
Having freelancers on your team can help you speed up projects, boost productivity, and grow your business. Whether you work for yourself or a company, hiring freelancers can make work simpler.
If this is your first time bringing aboard freelancers, you’ll find these tips helpful when you stumble across introverts. At a loss for where to find them?