Entrepreneurs tend to be extroverts. It’s easy for them to talk out issues and make decisions quickly. Introverts, on the other hand, process information internally, by sitting with it for a while. They can be excellent listeners and deep thinkers with keen insight that provides creative solutions. But it’s often not easy for introverts to discuss issues thoughtfully until they’ve been able to process their thoughts on their own first.
If you’ve got introverts on your leadership team, the IDS portion of a Level 10 meeting can stretch them out of their comfort zone and force them outside of their natural skillset. The real-time nature of discussing an issue and resolving it within minutes can be stressful and frustrating—and you might not get their best contributions.
But you can make Level 10 meetings easier for introverts to give their best input if you understand their needs. Here are seven ways to make Level 10 meetings a 10 for introverts.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Introverts
- Share the Issues List before the meeting. This helps ensure there are fewer surprises (some issues are still going to surface in the meeting), and introverts can spend some time thinking about their own understanding of each issue before the meeting. They’ll be more prepared to discuss the issues thoughtfully and suggest creative solutions.
- Pace the IDS for introverts. Particularly with complex issues, allow some space for thought. While your goal is to solve as many issues as possible within the meeting, you don’t need to have constant chatter. By creating space for people to sit with their thoughts for a moment, you may actually enable introverts to find the best solutions more quickly.
- Create an environment where it’s okay to feel unsettled, even if you can’t put your finger on why. As introverts are processing the discussion, it might take them longer to get on board with a solution or to pinpoint a problem that others haven’t spotted. If they’re feeling unsettled, give them a moment to think and process everything.
- Get agreement from each person who has a stake in solving the issue. This gives introverts a chance to communicate any thoughts they’ve kept to themselves during discussion.
- Remind your team that you’re arriving at the best possible solution now. If it turns out later that the decision wasn’t ideal, you can add it back to the Issues List in the future.
- Be patient—especially with hesitation.
- Draw out introverts into the discussion. Be careful of inadvertently shutting them down, and ask for their thoughts if they’ve been quiet throughout the IDS.
Introverts tend to be creative problem-solvers with great insight, and they’re tremendous assets to your leadership team. If you structure your Level 10 Meetings with introverts in mind, you’ll not only make the meetings easier for introverts, you’ll set your business up for greater success!