Not all team meetings are an effective use of time. Countless studies show that meetings cost the company money, affect employees’ ability to complete the rest of their work and can result in confusion or loss of focus on a project.
Done correctly, with the right people in the room, team meetings can generate momentum on a project, increase morale, and get people on the same page.
Despite the best of intentions, team meetings rarely follow a productive model. No matter your personality type – introvert, extrovert, or ambivert – a trusted leader knows how to prepare and lead meetings based on team strengths to ensure priority outcomes are accomplished.
According to a study, 83.3% of executives agreed they are introspective, or analytical of their thoughts and behaviors. Knowing your personality type as a Small Business Owner, Thought Leader or Business Executive is an important tool to lead with intentionality and play to your strengths.
Not all introverts are the same, but most agree they need time to process their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
They aren’t necessarily shy, but they often don’t like being the center of attention.
Those with an introverted personality feel drained after prolonged exposure to stimulation and need time to recharge alone after social situations.
They might be the ones leaving the concert early to get home and enjoy the silence.
Introverts are excellent leaders because they allow space to hear individual ideas and have a penchant for listening.
This leadership personality often makes team members feel valued and heard.
Tips For Conducting A Team Meeting As An Introvert:
- Prepare an agenda. Agendas force you to think about what topics absolutely need to be discussed in the meeting, and the order in which they are discussed. You can prepare your thoughts on these topics in advance. Agendas also help with time management and keep meetings from running over.
- Discuss the most important thing first. You already know this meeting is going to drain your energy. Prepare discussion for the most important agenda item, or the one you are most passionate about first, so it gets your best participation. Reserve the easy reminders and announcements for the last 10 minutes of the meeting, when you are starting to withdraw and no longer interested in discussion.
- Pro-tip: If you’re feeling drained but have ideas to share, take notes and share your thoughts later in a debrief email to save your energy during the meeting.
- Only invite the most important people. Introverts already prefer quality interactions with a few people over small talk with a crowd of strangers. Invite only the essential colleagues to your meetings to ensure an effective and on-topic conversation. Fewer people in the room will also help you feel less over-stimulated. Pro-tip: If the meeting does require a large number of people, invite the group to break up into small groups or pairs for brainstorming.
- Send a debrief after the meeting. Just as you need time before the meeting to collect your thoughts, spend 10 minutes after the meeting to do the same thing. Send out a brief to the meeting attendees to synthesize discussion and next steps, and provide any additional commentary you didn’t bring up in person. This not only helps you but keeps your team members on track.
- Ask your Executive VA to adjust your calendar: If your Executive VA is already owning calendar management, ask them to schedule transition time both before and after your meeting. This gives you uninterrupted time beforehand to collect your thoughts, and afterward to decompress and recharge your batteries. Another strategy is to surround meetings with low-energy tasks that you can do by yourself, to help off-set the social time.
An extrovert is energized by social situations and feels comfortable in large groups of people.
These are the people who can talk about almost anything and enjoy public speaking. They enjoy meeting new people and are often bored and under-stimulated when alone.
Extroverts are excellent leaders because you can engage and motivate a large group of people with confidence.
This leadership personality often makes team members feel there is a sense of direction.
Tips For Conducting A Team Meeting As An Extrovert:
- Prepare an agenda: Setting a schedule or agenda for the meeting is important for you because you thrive in a lively discussion. Unfortunately, active brainstorming can run long. Dedicate time in your agenda to your most important action items first, and then reserve 15-20 minutes in the end for group think to keep yourself, and others, on task.
Pro-tip: Invite a colleague to serve as the timekeeper. Give them permission to reign you and others in if you deviate from the agenda for too long.
- Time your presentations: You are comfortable talking in front of a group of people but so comfortable, at times, that your presentations can run long or go off-topic. Time your meetings in advance if you are presenting to keep yourself on track and on topic.
- Don’t fill the silence: Remember, your meetings are filled with introverted and extroverted people. Introverts are taking time to collect their thoughts, and may not be as willing to jump into a lively debate. Don’t feel the need to fill every break in the conversation. Allow silence to happen because you never know who may be relying on it to share their thoughts.
Pro-tip: Make an announcement that anyone is welcome to send their thoughts on a topic to you in an email after the meeting. You can then synthesize their thoughts, action items and additional commentary in a debrief email to meeting attendees. This encourages introverts to have their voice heard even if they’re not comfortable participating in a group think.
- Ask your Executive VA to adjust your calendar: If you are energized by social interactions, invite your Executive VA to make dedicated days for meetings. Bulking meetings is great for simplifying your schedule. Studies have shown when you have a plan in advance, your subconscious is already preparing for that appointment. So subconsciously, you will always be ready for those standing Tuesday/Thursday internal meetings, and Wednesday/Friday sales calls.
Pro-tip: If those quiet administrative office tasks drain you, and you’d rather be working in your zone of genius giving presentations, going on sales calls or doing Facebook lives, here are 5 tasks you can outsource right now to your VA.
If you’re interested in learning more about what an Executive Virtual Assistant can do for your business, contact us here. Our team will help you determine how your business can benefit from our Priority Executive VAs.