One of the ways to reduce bias and educate co-workers about introverts is to bring up the topic with your team. But how do you do this? Here are three suggestions based on my work with diverse organizations across the globe.
1) Take the MBTI- Suggest your team take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – This assessment is widely available and should be administered by a certified instructor. You can also get other versions online. The debrief and discussion will open up everyone’s eyes and strengthen working relationships.
2) Take a quiz – Suggest your team take one of our quizzes to get a view of how they use the strengths of introverted leaders, quiet influencers, and genius opposites. The quizzes can be taken on your phone or online and they deliver immediate results. They are designed to provoke awareness and discussion. Note: You don’t have to be introverted to take these assessments. Follow up with solutions and tools from the companion books, The Introverted Leader 2nd edition, Quiet Influence, and The Genius of Opposites.
3) Pose questions – On your next conference call or live staff meeting, pose a question from the list below. Allow time for discussion. If you make it a safe place, people will inevitably weigh in and you will learn a great deal about your team. You will also get ideas on how to make your workplace more introvert-friendly. This knowledge will strengthen your ability to work together.
a) How do you think introverted leadership is relevant to our company’s mission and vision?
b) What challenges do introverts face in our organization?
c) What best practices might we implement to bring out the best in all our team members?
With each of these steps, you are shining the light on introversion and taking it out of the dark recesses of misunderstanding and second-class citizenship. Valuing introverted qualities at work impacts the productivity and well-being of all associates. You can be a catalyst for that important change.