COVID has produced some interesting ‘silver linings’. The latest….. Introverts on our teams are coming out of the closet!
Introverts tend to have a more reserved behaviour; now they are at last being heard and they are coming out of the ‘darkness’.
Many of my clients have made this observation. So why is it happening and what can we learn from it?
COVID has forced many people to work remotely, so online communication has become a key feature of our day. Digital platforms operate on 2 principles: First, only one person at a time can talk; and second, there is a host who directs the ‘traffic’ and can see all faces at a glance. Thus, the conversation is better controlled and overall more orderly. It can be a bit daunting for some but overall it gives “space” for the quiet ones.
Introverts And The DISC Framework
As many of you know, I specialise in using DISC as a framework to help people understand what motivates them and their stakeholders.
In general, those people strong in D (Direct/Decisive) & I (Interactive/Influencing) behaviour tend to be more vocal. Conversely those who are strong in the S (Steady/Supportive) & C (Cautious/Correct) behaviours tend to be good listeners.
The result is that often the talkers get the upper hand in conversation and the quieter people rarely get a hearing. Sadly, in that context, the wrong assumption is that “They have got nothing to say”.
If people don’t speak in meeting situations, it is not that they don’t have ideas! In fact, it is because more others haven’t stopped talking and given them an opportunity to contribute.
Solving Communication Issues
Recently I was working with a food processing business. For one thing there was a significant conflict between the CEO and production manager. Whilst the CEO was strong in both D and I behaviour (both very outgoing behaviours), the production manager was very high in C behaviour (conscientious/cautious behaviour); quality and compliance were his priority. But for the CEO it was all about taking action and making quick decisions.
(Note: you can read more about DISC here)
During our 3-day retreat with the executive team, it was quickly clear that these 2 couldn’t see eye to eye. To improve the situation, all it took was a fresh understanding of the other’s motivation and view of the world. With some growth in Interpersonal flexibility, they achieved a massive improvement in communication, innovation and most importantly, trust.
Helping The Introverts on Our Teams To Contribute Fully
The COVID environment has allowed people to look in their relationship ‘mirror’. That is because, Without the constant distractions of others in the office, introverts are freer to shine and come alive.
Let me know if trust is an issue in your workplace. We can have a conversation around strategies for fully engaging your people and maximising the value of workplace relationships and productivity.
The pandemic has been also a timeout from our usual extrovert-dominated culture. Now we should make the best of that. Check out this excellent article by Andrea Kluth in Bloomberg Opinion “For Introverts, Quarantine Can Be a Liberation”.
Could you transform communication in your organisation and extend the benefits of COVID? Help the introverts on your teams shine beyond our current remote-work context?
Our virtual programs, just like our face-to-face programs, can help you develop AN ENGAGED CULTURE, INSPIRING LEADERS, & EFFECTIVE TEAMS.