Observe the Magic Around You

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – William Butler Yeats

Look around you, what do you see? Nothing particularly interesting? Think again. Even in the doldrums of the mundane and commonplace, there is something that you did not see before, that you did not notice before, but that you would have, either in retrospect, or with a second look.

In a seasoned team, members tend to take each other for granted, and tend to be under the impression that their teammates are little more than open books. No surprise there. Unfortunately, having such a mentality can be counteractive to a team, especially where members begin to think that their understanding of a person is so complete that they can make decisions for that person.

There is a need to realise that humans are all complex beings, and that our understanding of another person will always be incomplete (unless you are a mind reader, of course), since our knowledge of a person is based on what we see and hear, which gives only a fraction of the complete picture – people are adaptive creatures and portray different selves depending on the situation.

To know a person inside-out, or outside-in rather, is thus nothing less than a Sisyphean task. However, it is not impossible to obtain a fuller picture of a person. All it requires is a person to expand his faculties:

Look, it is okay to watch that person, provided you do not stalk. We are all of us inquisitive, so let that scientific curiosity loose, and observe. Mannerisms and body language, the way he interacts with others and reacts to situations or words, a lot can be learned.

Listening to gossip about a person, especially malicious gossip, is something you should avoid. The only thing that gossip achieves is influence over your impression of a person by creating a false image. Whether that image is good or bad is inconsequential. However, what matters is that gossip prevents the formation of an accurate understanding of who a person is by creating ‘noise’ that is difficult to block out.

Thus, listen to the person of interest instead. After all, people like to talk about themselves. Give that person a chance, and he will reveal a lot about himself to you, even if he is introverted. This is the best way to learn more about a person, and you never know but something he shares with you may come as a pleasant surprise to you.

Last but not least, talk. It is good and all to want to be a quiet observer, but frankly, people want to know more about you just as much as you want to know more about them. It is a reciprocal kind of thing. You need to contribute as much as you want to learn. Plus, the team would benefit from knowing more about you. Of course, try not to make every conversation revolve around you. No one other than yourself would appreciate it.

So look, listen, and talk, and you will be able to learn things about someone you never thought you would ever know. In addition, it would help you avoid being found at a crossroad, not knowing what you said to offend a teammate, and how to reconcile with him, although the reverse is true too.

Power and Control – When Enough is Enough.

What do you think of when you hear the word “leader”? Famous leaders of countries like Julius Caesar or George Washington? Brilliant military generals like Napoleon? CEOs of multinational companies like Bill Gates?

Fortunately, you do not need to be ‘great’ like the above figures to be a leader. Leadership comes in many forms, and can be found in many places. That said, the responsibilities of a leader remain largely unchanged: a leader has to motivate his teammates to scale greater heights than they could possibly achieve as individuals.

Ironically, a team leader is unlikely to have power over his teammates in the same way a king would have authority over his subjects. Thus, some would say that the team leader has a tougher job, because not only does he have his own job to do, he must also lead his team in the right direction. In addition, he is the held liable for his teammates’ actions and mistakes.

But is it a bad thing that leaders do not have absolute power? What if a team leader did have complete control? Chances are, such a leader would be overbearing, and micromanage his teammates, forcing them to do and redo tasks until they meet his ludicrously high expectations. Such leaders make others feel unneeded and unwanted, and inhibit the growth of ideas. Thus, rather than a mass of ideas brimming with potential, everything ends up revolving around the leader, and creativity is stunted as people become afraid to voice their opinions and simply slave over their assigned tasks.

What if the reverse were true? In contrast, a leader who is too lenient may appear weak and lackadaisical, which creates other problems – because that person may be viewed as a pushover, or otherwise unqualified, the team may eventually lose confidence in the leader, and the team would lose its direction, and work less diligently and less creatively. After all, without a person with a strong will who can make tough decisions and resolve conflicts, the team will inevitably be set adrift into the hazy ocean of uncertainty.

It is therefore necessary that a team leader balances being authoritative and lenient when carrying out his duties. However, what then is the ideal balance? We would compare a good leader with a willow tree- flexible like the trunk of a willow tree, able to adapt according to his teammates’ needs, yet strong like its roots, able to be firm when necessary. Like a willow tree, such a team leader would be able to ferry his team through tempestuous times.

Though it is not easy to strike such a balance, which often involves a great deal of trial and error, with time and experience it can be done. If anything, the process can be accelerated through the use of team building activities, where real life challenges are simulated in a safe, controlled environment. So fret not if you are not the perfect team leader. Take every opportunity to learn, and be sure that in time you will soar and excel.

 

 

Lies and Deceit and the Journey to Self-discovery

“This above all: to thine own self be true” is probably the most insightful utterance made by Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ironically, Polonius as a character is hardly true to his own self, and typically bends his will to concur with the opinions of others, as occurs in the following absolutely hilarious dialogue between him and the titular Hamlet:

HAMLET: Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

POLONIUS: By th’ mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed.

HAMLET: Methinks it is like a weasel.

POLONIUS: It is backed like a weasel.

HAMLET: Or like a whale.

POLONIUS: Very like a whale.

By now you might be wondering: what exactly is the point of all this? To keep it short and simple: whether in the workplace, at school, out with friends, or even at home, the hard truth is, very rarely do we portray ourselves as we are in the absence of people.

This is natural, as people adapt themselves to the situations they are in. This adaptive quality is part and parcel of being human. However, the problem comes in when we change ourselves just to make ourselves more likable to others. To accomplish this end, the tendency is to create entirely different lives for ourselves as we weave fictitious ‘truths’ to hide what we feel are our inadequacies. This is toxic to any relationship, as the lies eventually grow larger and proliferate, eventually becoming a monstrous agglomeration that cannot be controlled. At least till light is shed on the truth and the entire structure comes crumbling down, and people develop a distrust of the architect.

Thus the importance of ‘to thine own self be true.’ By being true to ourselves, we eliminate the possibility of lying to others just to make ourselves look better. While difficult to achieve, the benefits that we reap from so doing cannot be discounted. As we believe that to accomplish this primarily entails gaining a greater understanding of oneself, here is some information you can use on your journey towards self-discovery:

  1. Understand and appreciate your flaws. Each person has a unique set strengths and flaws. However, a person only truly understands himself inasmuch as he is aware of his flaws, however debilitating they may be. This is because ultimately what defines us as who we are is not what we can gain recognition for, but what we believe can potentially lead us to ruin.

People often talk about strengthening weaknesses and possibly turning them into strengths. However, this is wholly unnecessary. We believe in the view that focussing on strengths leads to a much more productive life, as should we focus on strengthening weaknesses thereby neglecting what we are good at, we become jacks of all trades and masters of none. The key then is simply to always keep these weaknesses at the back of the mind when undertaking tasks or assignments. In this manner, we know how to avoid them destroying us without having to conjure falsehoods to cover them up.

  1. In line with the above point, reflect. By this, we do not mean to look at yourself in the mirror and admire your body. Instead, we mean to think about the way you handle situations and your reactions to what is said and done. Take note of how your behaviour in social interactions could be improved and resolve to stop yourself from succumbing to habits if you recognise them as something that will not be of benefit to you. For optimal results, put aside some time daily, in the morning or at the end of the day, to reflect on your experiences of the day (if in the evening) or the previous day (if in the morning)  to carry out these reflections. In time to come, you will gain a greater understanding of yourself, and come to be more comfortable with who you are as a person, making it easier for you to be true to yourself.
  1. Lastly, communicate. While it is possible to mitigate one’s weaknesses by one’s sheer willpower, it is better to let others know about them so that there is an awareness, which empowers others to help you when you need assistance. It also indicates that you trust others, and inspires trust in them, as you show them that you do not fear them seeing you in your most vulnerable.

Being able to be comfortable in your own skin is vital in optimising your performance in any social setting. The key is not to avoid situations that make you feel awkward and prompt you to resort to deceptions to make yourself feel comfortable, but rather to garner a greater understanding of yourself so that you have greater confidence and believe in yourself when caught in such situations.

 

Team Building & Sustainability: Going Green

Team building tends to be a one-off thing, held once a year usually with a different vendor from the previous year. But that’s not what matters here. With team building, events are usually resource intensive, partially because of their tendency to be large-scale events (i.e.  Dinner & Dance), partially because they are held irregularly, which drives the perception that they are harmless.

However, with Global Warming and Climate Change taken into consideration, nature is suffering for our actions, and such practices with short-term focus are no longer sustainable. Thus, there is a need for team building to adapt to the zeitgeist and adopt sustainable practices. Here are some tips to make your team building greener, and more sustainable:

  1. Cardboard and paper frequently feature in such events. Worse yet, they are used in bulk. Why not think of Alternative resources that can be used? Plastic, while not exactly the most environmentally-friendly due to its being a non-biodegradable material, is possibly one of the best materials to use, because they can be re-used in future events, especially if the activity involves some form of construction.
  1. If paper and cardboard has to be used, and the nature of the activity means that it can only be used once, Recycle instead of throwing it away! Granted, transporting the materials may be quite the hassle, but consider this: what is more important, your convenience, or the state of the earth? The same applies for mineral water bottles. And in the case of leftover water, you can even water the surrounding flora with it before tossing the bottles into the recycling bin.
  1. Moreover, if possible, Conserve. If that means that teams have to work with limited materials, so be it! While a lack of resources is not exactly a good way to train one’s creativity, it does teach one to be more resourceful, which is a crucial part of being sustainable.
  1. Lastly, Sophistication. One way by which we can reduce the resources needed to organise and carry out team building events is to incorporate technology into such events. By making use of technology, it is possible to eliminate the need for materials such as paper entirely from such events, which is a great boon for the environment.

If ever you are lost and do not know how to run greener, more sustainable practices in your team building events, fret not! Think of sustainable team building as a rainbow. They make us happy, and they come in ARCS.

Know of how to make team building practices even more sustainable? Leave your comments in the section below:

 

Debunking Team Building Myths

Many popular beliefs about team building practices are myths — here are just two of them:

Myth #1: You must hire a coach.

There is nothing magical about team building. Neither is it an art reserved for the select elite. The truth is that team building occurs when people make a specific set of realisations about each other and their work.

However, how these realisations are (or aren’t) achieved often slips the radar, so people see and the effects of team building, but fail to explain and reproduce them.

But because these realisations are observable, it is possible to learn to generate them. So by putting effort into noticing what the realisations that need to be made are, you can effectively create team building yourself: once it has been can be accomplished, then those realisations can regularly be fostered through conversation or other like activities.

In fact, it is often the case that the gains that are achieved with the help of a team building consultancy come from simply pursuing clarity about the group’s collective purpose or task. Yet obtaining clarity is hardly a miraculous feat, nor must one be a coach or consultant — or just a third party outsider — to demand that it be addressed.

Nonetheless, the team building consulting industry thrives on this myth. But companies can’t afford to perpetuate it. Thus, let us raise our expectations that smart professionals can and will see the need to align with one another as part of their accountability to each other. The professionals are just there to facilitate and quicken the process.

Myth #2: The first agenda in team-building is to get people to like each other.

There is a good reason for this myth. From the early part of the 20th Century and up until the seventies, researchers defined ‘group cohesion’ based on interpersonal attractiveness, i.e., how much people in a group like each other.

So psychologists developed personality inventories to help us understand people’s actions and behaviour, which allows us to thereafter pigeonhole them accordingly (because human beings are just such simple creatures that they can be fit into pre-defined categories). Consultants use these personality inventories to help us appreciate and embrace our differences. There is no doubt that such knowledge is valuable. However, just by how much can it improve your team? Not much, really.

Today’s scientific literature defines group cohesion on the basis of linked individual and collective outcomes. So what causes a group of people to cohere and act as a single entity is not so much their affinity for each other but their collective desire for a common outcome (task, result, mission, experience, etc.).

Hence, when a group of people are at odds with each other, do not automatically assume that personality awareness training will bring them in line. Instead, analyse the alignment of their goals and see if they perceive each other as a credible ally or credible threat.

We adapted this article from one by Christopher Avery. To read the original, click here.

 

The Importance of Saying No

If you are the kind of person who finds it difficult to reject others, fret not, for you are not alone. Many people face this problem. However,  whether because of the guilt that is felt when rejecting others, or because of the need to be polite and a good person, being unable to say no, having an obsessive desire to please everyone, can be detrimental to one’s mental and emotional well-being – physical too, if it is not addressed in time. Why? An inability to reject others inevitably leads to one being swamped, buried, by commitments, most of which cannot be fulfilled. And if left unfulfilled, one’s reward will be nothing less than ire from those who were promised a job done. Learning to say no is thus essential if one does not want life of stress, burden, remorse, and resentment.

In a team, learning to say no is especially important, as accepting superfluous commitments may lead to the neglect of other vital projects which the team has under its wing. Thus, here are some tips for you to help you say no:

  1. Keep things organised. One of the main reasons why people fail to say no is that they fail to realise what commitments they have already made and to whom. Thus, to mitigate this, it is always good to keep a calendar or schedule ready at hand, where every commitment is recorded on paper in pen. By being organised, and keeping track of one’s commitments, it makes it easier when someone makes a request to say “Sorry, I have this-and-this to do for so-and-so on this date, and I really can’t help you.”
  1. Say ‘No’ without saying “No.” ‘No’ may in and of itself be a complete sentence, but it leaves listeners feeling bitter and dissatisfied – which is where the guilt of rejecting others stems from. Thus, to prevent this from occurring, offer alternatives. For instance, try scheduling the request in, but at another date and time as is more convenient for you. Check out this website for more ideas on how to reject requests graciously.
  1. If necessary, practice! Rejecting a request can still be difficult even if one has completely valid reasons to do so. Usually, it has to do with personal inhibitions. Whether because of lessons inculcated from young, or because of societal values, it is helpful to break free of these inhibitions. The easiest method by far is to practice. Use a mirror and say it to yourself; do it in low-risk circumstances such as when a street vendor approaches. Do it as often as possible and you will be prepared for the next time you need to reject someone.

Remember, life needs balance, and learning to say “No” not only keeps stress at bay, it helps to prevent the fruition of unrealistic expectations.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below.

Promoting Team Creativity

How to Promote Creativity in a Team

Creativity is an important commodity in today’s forward-looking world where people are always trying to find ways to better their lives. However, how often do we capitalise on our ability to think outside the box? If we ponder upon it for a moment, we realise that our creativity is much stifled, even from an early age, where we are implicitly taught in school that thinking for ourselves is not a good thing- how do you do well for an examination? Memorise, and regurgitate. There is little to no independent thinking involved. Just simple rote learning.

Thus, when we move on to the ‘real’ world, where we have to face and conquer ‘living’ problems that are always changing and need us to adapt accordingly, the main difficulty we face is having to activate our creative sparks. While it may not be an easy to accomplish feat due to acculturation, where we stick to what we are accustomed to out of habit, it definitely can be done. In fact, here are some tips to promote creativity in a team:

  1. Resources should be made readily available

Sounds obvious, does it not? However, in most cases, what we find is that people are not given the resources they need to develop creatively. This is because of the mistaken notion that being starved of resources will force people into thinking creatively – they have to solve their problem with what they have or are given. However, while this may train one to be resourceful and teach one the importance of not wasting resources, it hardly does one’s creativity any benefit, because being resourceful ultimately does not have anything to do with thinking creatively to find solutions to a problem.

Thus, from information to funding and materials, having sufficient resources which are readily accessible is fundamental when fostering an environment conducive to the generation of creative ideas, and ought not to be overlooked.

  1. Give Team Members Autonomy

It is good and well for a team to set well-defined targets for a project. By having goals to work towards, it allows them to understand where they are headed. Even better if they are given in conjunction with an explanation of how achieving them will be beneficial for the organisation.

However, to promote creativity, it is necessary to look beyond these, and understand the circumstances under which creativity flourishes. Perhaps one of the most significant things that can be had to promote creativity is autonomy. Autonomy, or the space to feel that one is in control over his own work and ideas, is vital as it gives people space to reflect on past events and the present situation, to leverage on past experiences to understand how the problem at present can be solved.

Of course, while having autonomy is necessary to allow ideas to grow and creativity to flourish, it is necessary not to lose sight of the targets that the team ultimately wishes to achieve.

  1. Give enough time

Creativity is not like a light. It cannot be turned on and off with a switch. Therefore, enough time has to be given if creative work is to be done. Unfortunately, many teams hold the belief that creativity can be stimulated by having to work under tight deadlines.

People need time when given a problem to solve to contemplate that problem, understand it inside-out and outside-in, think about what they need to do, conduct research to find possible solutions, and brainstorm with others to discover different perspectives. By denying people the time needed to complete all these with a tight deadline or other similar means, it translates into is a disservice to creativity, as people are not given the chance to realise their full creative potential.

Creativity is certainly a vital tool in today’s teams, so why not let it grow? Stop the festering of creative juices by following the above tips starting today.

What do you think? Leave us your comments in the section below.

 

Team Building Starts with Community

When we talk of team building activities, we tend to focus on how the activity can promote bonding among members of the team, and how this can benefit the organisation in the long run. While it is good that we think about the organisation and company, how much better do you think would it be if the activity could benefit society as well? In this article, we will be exploring volunteer work as a viable team building activity option.

First and foremost, why volunteer work as a team building activity? Volunteer work not only gives employees the chance to take a break from the mundane toil of daily work life by getting them out of the office, it also gives employees the opportunity to get to know one another better in a positive, uplifting environment. After all, there is that feel-good factor when you know you have helped to make someone else’s life a little more comfortable. So here are some tips for you to organise your own team building activity centred on volunteer opportunities:

  1. Be Selective

By Selective, we do not mean that you should only bring joy to organisations or people you deem ‘worthy’ because of such and such a reason. Instead, we mean that you should select the organisation you volunteer for based on the skills of the participants. It makes sense for the volunteer work to be something that most if not all are able to do and interested in doing. If it complements what they do on a daily basis, even better! But ultimately, what matters most is that the activity is meaningful, at least for the large majority of participants.

  1. Do not be overly ambitious

Committing oneself to volunteer every day after work is overkill. Take into consideration that participants have their own personal lives to think about. Do volunteer work once a month or once a quarter if a monthly affair is too much. Alter the frequency as is deemed necessary.

  1. Make it a family affair

What’s even better than doing volunteer work with colleagues? Doing it with family, of course! Invite participants’ families to join in the volunteer ventures. The more people, the merrier, and everyone gets to learn something about someone else as volunteer work becomes a social event.

  1. Make it part of an orientation programme

Introduce newcomers to the volunteering ventures that the organisation has, by allocating some time for them to visit the partner organisation and complete some volunteer work during the orientation period.  Not only does this leave them with a better impression of the company, it speeds up the assimilation process as they get to learn about others in their personal capacity.

Show that the company cares not just for itself but also for others, for society and it will inspire confidence in employees and motivate them, leading to an all-around better environment to work in.

 

 

Putting the Blame Game to Shame

“It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it! He/she/it did it!” Sounds familiar? Often used by children to deflect responsibility from themselves and onto others, this line is a hallmark of the Blame Game. Children in their innocence use it in the purest and most honest form which makes it easy beyond measure to understand their motives. However, with maturity, the game grows in complexity, and a seemingly innocent statement or comment such as “I don’t know, ask so-and-so instead” could potentially be an attempt to push responsibility from oneself to another person. We engage in the blame game on a day-to-day basis whether we like it or not, whether we notice it or not. However, how many of us have ever thought: just how harmful is the Blame Game?

But before we can even begin to talk about the harms of engaging in the Blame Game, we first have to understand why it happens. From an early age, most if not all of us have inculcated and ingrained in us the notion that committing mistakes is a bad thing. After all, making a mistake leads to penalties ranging from beration to caning (depending on how strict one’s parents are). As a result, it becomes a sort of automatic response for us not to want to admit our mistakes, and hence, in order to preserve our credibility, we toss the ball into another’s court, or push it, rather.

So the Blame Game stems largely from an innate fear of punishment, which is understandable. However,  its repercussions are hardly constructive, if ever, and can range from bad to worse to the just plain ugly, which is why it is best avoided. Think about it: what happens to the person whom the blame ultimately falls onto? Demotion? Retrenchment? Transferral to some obscure department that no one knows squat about? Like the Greek Pharmakos, the supposed perpetrator is permanently exiled from the company. Otherwise, he is ostracised for the remainder of his term in the organisation.

Yet, in retrospect, if we think about why something goes wrong, we find that it is never the case that one person singlehandedly created the problem. As is said, ‘it takes two hands to clap’; and in an organisation, any end result is the work of whole teams of people. So instead of pushing blame around such that the sole responsibility falls on one person’s shoulders, it is much more constructive if the following options are considered instead:

  1. If a mistake occurs, do not focus on what went wrong and who did what to contribute to the result. Instead, focus on what can be done to rectify the problem. Doing so, who was the source of the problem becomes immaterial and unimportant, which stops the Blame Game from occurring. Moreover, because everyone is focussed on solutions, the situation turns in favour of the organisation as a climate conducive to the generation of ideas is promoted, and creativity is able to flourish.

 

  1. Have a break. Everyone needs some time out. By this we do not mean that it is beneficial to binge on chocolates (if you didn’t get the joke). In times of crisis, it is very easy to get caught up in the overwhelming tide of stress and panic. Under such circumstances, it is easy for one to resort to the Blame Game to protect himself from coming under fire from others. By taking some time off from the chaos, it gives the individual the opportunity to distance himself from the nightmarish scene. This allows him to clear his mind and thus enables him to think objectively and retrospectively about the situation, leaving him with a more nuanced view about the big picture.

 

  1. If all else fails, as a last ditch effort to stop the Blame Game from wrecking havoc, initiate a discussion with a third party as a mediator. The purpose of the discussion is to get all pent up rage and discontentment out into the open so that it can be addressed. The mediator is there to prevent fights from breaking out by controlling the environment in which the discussion is taking place. Granted, this makes for an exceedingly difficult job. Thus, it is important that the mediator is someone all parties involved in the discussion respect. This would give the mediator sufficient power over the group, to control the environment in which the discussion takes place.

 

Blame is not a indication of right and wrong. It is an indication of weakness: blaming others is easy, but to stop oneself from doing it requires a lot of control, discipline and restraint. Blame destroys the working environment by generating incaculable amounts of negative energy. So instead of tossing blame around and causing it to breed and multiply, try to create an open environment conducive for communication, where everyone respects everyone else’s views and opinions.

Credits to Larry Lipman & Fun Team Building for inspiring this article. Check out its source: The Blame Game: Why it Happens and How Employees Should Handle it.

How to Bring Out the Potential of Quiet Team Members

They exist in every organisation, they do. But you may not notice their existence because they are just so quiet. Introverted or just plain shy, such individuals are appreciated for rarely contributing to workplace drama. However, because they are so reserved when interacting with others, it is difficult to get to know them, and tougher yet to get them to open up to others.

That said, despite their reserved personalities, such individuals do have ideas to share and contributions to make. Everyone has something to contribute after all, and it would be unwise to think otherwise.

Nonetheless, because they so frequently shun the limelight, they are just as often shadowed by their more outgoing counterparts. Thus, their thoughts and opinions have to be elicited from them, but carefully, delicately, to avoid a situation where they withdraw into their shells permanently.

So how can you draw out the ideas of these individuals who would rather stay glued to the computer screen than participate in meetings with their extroverted counterparts? Here is some information to help you:

  1. Observe & Listen

Sounds simple, but often the toughest in implementation. The key is to observe. If you think that their voices are being drowned out by more outgoing, assertive individuals, pull them aside. Speak to them individually to solicit their opinions.

However, take note that such individuals are likely to express their opinions only to people they trust highly, and even then might only mention them once. So once again, observe. Observe, and find out who these trusted individuals are, who they are likely to spend lunches with, spend time chit-chatting, gossiping with. If you have pulled the introverted individual aside, but fail to learn anything of importance, approach those he trusts, and ask them. They may know more than you think.

In the case that you are fortunate enough to have a quiet individual approach you to tell you about his ideas, praise the heavens, because you are one heck of a lucky guy! Jokes aside, ask him a series of questions to solicit as much as you can out of him. But take care that you do not at any point convey the impression that you are distracted or uninterested, because if you do, it will be harder to gain their trust in future.

  1. Ask & Act

Asking for feedback is an important part of the growth process. This is true in a corporate setting as well. To make a company grow, obtaining the feedback of various individuals can be vital, as it provides opportunities for development and progress. However, soliciting feedback is not easy sometimes, because of the widespread belief that the feedback provided will not be listened to or utilised in any way.

Therefore, if feedback is requested, one has to be prepared to act on it. For feedback from shy individuals, there is nothing more important than this. They need to know that giving their feedback is not meaningless. Otherwise, they will not give it. If such an individual steps up to provide feedback, not only is it necessary to listen, it is imperative that the initiative is taken to carry out his suggestions, even if it has to be put on hold for a year. Never provide mere lip service.

If his idea is impractical in theory or application or it can only be implemented after some time, then explain why it is so. For instance, it could be because of budget or time. Nonetheless, it is important to make that individual believe that you genuinely feel that his opinions are important and you are glad they share their thoughts.

  1. Acknowledge & Understand

Everyone wants his achievements and accomplishments acknowledged by others — there is a feel good factor. However, for an introverted person, nothing is more devastating than having his name emblazoned over a plaque placed in a prominent area, or being called upon the stage during a company event. Therefore, if credit is to be given where it is due, do so subtly. For instance, give a gift certificate or a letter of appreciation personally on a normal working day.

Ultimately, what a quiet person wants is a nothing more than quiet, peaceful life, devoid of ostentation, devoid of drama. Therefore, the best thing that can be done is for one to understand this desire. If you understand this, then all else will fall in place, and you will have a quiet comrade who will confide in you and whom you can confide in.

What do you think? Any opinions as to how to encourage a quiet team member to speak up? Let us know in the comments section below!

Credits to Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman for inspiring this piece. To read the original, click here.finger on lip