Evolent Health Tunes into Introverts

Last week I presented a session on introverts and extroverts in the workplace at a fast growing company called Evolent Health. They have grown from 5 employees to 2400 in the last 5 years and are partnering with health systems across the country to provide value based care.

Casey Wilson, Managing Director of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness, along with senior leadership, believe that styles are an important part of the diversity and inclusion agenda. They have previously addressed gender and other issues and saw the need to bring styles into the conversation.

The of 100 participants were made up of remote employees and in-person attendees who were at the Arlington headquarters that day. The class was particularly receptive to learning more about how we can approach conflict. We covered practical approaches such as using key phrases (ex. “you may be right”) and eliminating “but’ from our sentences. We also demonstrated approaches like not standing head on but at a 45-degree angle and implementing the “walking meeting” option.

The importance of humor was also addressed and I shared clips of the Chicago film critics Siskel and Ebert who turned a hostile relationship into one of deep friendship. In discussing, “Destroying the Dislike” I noted that it is when you act like friends and show respect,  your team can accomplish a great deal.

Class participants committed to specific actions and by taking the time to increase their awareness they believe that their effectiveness with teammates will increase.  I am encouraged by the steps of organizations like Evolent Health and Casey Wilson who know styles differences are important to address.

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