Are you an extrovert who often complains that introverts shut down and are reluctant to open up to you? Sometimes, in the desire to connect with introverts, extroverts will try doing the same things, only harder and more intensely. This can create barriers. But by using a few different proven approaches they can get introverts to respond and start a constructive dialogue.
1) Pause – allow your words to “land”…wait before answering the question you just asked! Sit in uncomfortable silence before speaking.
2) Listen more than talk – someone told me that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason!
3) Avoid the “What’s wrong?” question….It only irritates the introvert because nothing usually is the matter.
4) “Praise in public, reprimand in private” usually makes sense. However, a lot of introverts don’t want the spotlight on them so consider giving them kudos one on one and letting others know about their achievements through email.
5) Avoid coming on too strong by peppering introverts with a slew of personal questions. Keep your distance physically as well. There’s nothing like a close talker to turn off an introvert.
Try these strategies and note the responses you receive. You will be pleased that small shifts can open up communication channels in significant ways.