The “big” football result last week was 0-0. If you follow football, I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Actually, I don’t like football and the big result was still 0-0 as it was all over the news. The zero sum game doesn’t work in football, or your team.
The zero sum game.
A zero sum activity is where neither side gain anything. Nil-Nil in football doesn’t help anybody because the total score was zero. Managing for part of your team, is also zero sum, as part of your team gain and part lose out.
A scoreless draw is a zero sum game, nobody gained anything. Managing for part of your team, is also zero sum, as part of your team gain and part lose out.
Managing for part of your team.
Many managers inadvertently manage for the more extroverted part of their team, leading to extroverts winning out and introverts losing out (zero sum). This is often followed by the pained question “why should I manage introverts differently?”.
How can you help the quieter members of your team perform better? In short, should you manage introverts differently to the rest of your team?
The chances are that currently your introverts don’t perform as well as they can, meaning you are the loser in the zero sum game.
The 33% productivity gap
A survey of over 400 business people reveals that a third are not as productive as they can be. Looking deeper and the most common cause is where introversion, communication and culture overlap. Communication and culture in the business are both driven by…the leadership.
Should you manage introverts differently?
- Yes: Clearly something needs to change if you want to get the most from the introverts in your team
- No: You should manage all the people in your team differently to get the most from the whole team.
3 tips to manage your introverts more effectively.
- The gift of time: Many introverts leave a slight gap before responding to a question. Don’t be tempted to jump in and answer for them, this simply trains them that their view isn’t wanted. Keep quiet, allow time and ask again in a different way if needed. It may take a while before they start to realise you are interested in their view, if they’ve “been trained” that you’re not. This will allow them to start feeling more valuable and part of the team.
- Run your meetings to help everybody speak up. There are many ways of doing this, one is simply to sometimes quieten the louder voices. You’ll get more worthwhile team meetings as a result (Read Running Meetings that make things happen for more information)
- One to one time: Introverts are often more effective in in smaller groups than larger groups. How can you build this into your schedule and plans?
How to spot an introvert hiding in plain sight
It’s all very well, but what if you can’t work out who the introverts in your team are?
Because of a general introvert bias, introverts will often disguise themselves which makes it harder to manage them appropriately. For more details click here, or watch this short video