Sensitive to Intro-Extroversion?

Carol Pipes:

Here are four things extroverted leaders can do to help the introverts on their team.

1. Introverts need time to process information. Provide written information before staff meetings so introverted team members have time to reflect on the material and prepare for discussion. If big changes are on the horizon, try to give them as much advance notice as possible.

2. Introverts prefer one-on-one conversations. If you have to reprimand them, do it privately.

3. Give introverts an opportunity to share their thoughts. Introverts tend to avoid the limelight, so they may not speak up in meetings. That doesn’t mean they don’t have anything of value to add. Be intentional about inviting introverts into the conversation.

4. Make meetings efficient. Because extroverts find energy from dialogue and engaging others, they often allow meetings to go longer than necessary. This can drain the introverts on your team. Follow an agenda and keep meetings as short as possible.

Here are four things introverted leaders can do to help extroverted team members.

1. Extroverts need to be around people. If sequestered to their offices for too long, extroverts can become unfocused and unproductive. Allow them the freedom to interact with others in the office or assign ministry tasks that involve engagement with people. Create social situations for your staff or team away from the office.

2. Extroverts often process things externally. Be patient and listen. Encourage their enthusiasm by allowing them to explore ideas and talk things out.

3. Extroverts are prone to action. They act first and then reflect. At times this can be beneficial. Depending on the situation, you may need to help them think through the appropriate way to act or react depending on the desired outcome.

4. Give extroverts time to shine. Allow them to take the lead in settings that require charisma, energy and charm.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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