Ever heard the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work”?
This sounds great as a commercial voiceover while you watch a group of people smiling, helping each other lift things and high-fiving each other. But is it true? Most of the time yes, especially on a basketball or soccer team; we need each other. But what about when it’s in an office? What about when it’s a virtual team that is separated by time and space, and what about when the team is comprised of introverts?
The danger in these actual situations is that in a meeting the extroverts could rule the conversation. Or if an introvert is leading the meeting, they could take the first good idea that comes along so they can end the meeting. Or worse, an introvert could sit quietly and never engage, but then goes back to their office and compose a six-page email explaining how all ideas decided were wrong. (I may or may not have done that.)
The past few blogs we’ve been going over some of the core values of our staff here at Real Life Church Ministries:
Here are three ways to make the dream work, two for introverts and one for extroverts:
1. Introverts – Engage.
You don’t have to say much, but you do need to speak. Go into a team event or meeting with one goal—I will engage. Share at least one idea. Volunteer to tackle one issue. Provide research when others ask. Do something. Be engaged.
2. Introverts – Encourage.
One of the best ways for introverts to be a part of things is to encourage those who are doing most of the talking. Extroverts view your silence as disengagement or disapproval. So, pick something you can cheer for and do it. “That’s a great idea,” or “You are so good at that,” can go a long way to not just people’s perception of you, but also your attentiveness.
3. Extroverts – Ask questions.
I know many of you process out loud, and you need the air time to prove your point, but make it a practice to make the first thing out of your mouth a question. And before moving on after a second of silence, wait for two to three responses before you give your answer. This will help you process and help you listen. Someone else may come to your exact conclusion before you do and thus prove your point.
Teamwork does make the dream work, but it has to involve all personalities. And that’s when all are involved, not just the loudest.