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An Introvert’s Guide to Groups (part 7 of 7)


By Tom Davidson

Here’s my seventh and last installment on An Introvert’s Guide to Groups, this one about the use of dialogue. 

One of the reasons that introverts fail to speak up soon enough or often enough is that they are – in their own words – “still thinking it through.” The only problem with this is that while they’re still thinking it through, the decision is made without them, and there’s very little chance to go backwards to pick up their points of view later. As a result, extraverts are left to conclude that introverts are kind of stupid, slow, uncaring or detached from important issues. 

Here’s my seventh and last installment on An Introvert’s Guide to Groups, this one about the use of dialogue. 

Principle #7 – An Introvert’s Guide to Groups 

Advocate for ideas and suggestions while also being open to others’. One particular team skill is a balancing act between advocating for one’s point of view while remaining open to other (sometimes divergent) viewpoints. Artful team players and leaders learn to find the right balance, which may vary by situation. 

Both introverts and extraverts have a hard time striking the right balance between advocating and remaining open. Extraverts tend to err on the side of advocating too much or too long because they tend to control the “air time.” Introverts tend to err on the other side, remaining open but without advocating sufficiently for their viewpoints. 

As a result, here are three things introverts can do to advocate more fully: 

1. Express your point of view at least three times in three different ways.
2. Openly ask for (and listen to) divergent points of view, which has the reciprocal effect of you being asked for yours.
3. Collect differing points of view on a white board so that all perspectives are heard – and recorded – including yours.


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