So one of the coolest things about publishing an e-book (beyond more than 100 people downloading it!) is you get emails asking you questions about particular change nuggets. How awesome — now I don’t even have to think about a blog topic, I simply respond to them publicly. This is one that had me really thinking for a while:
36. Some people by nature are introvert. Regular briefs or blogs are not something they would feel comfortable doing. They are more comfortable communication in small groups and preferably one on one. They are not the personality type to broadcast. Do you have a suggestion for how people like this can communicate to the masses? I’m talking about myself.
You are right, a lot of people are introverts. The stats are some-what fluid on this, it used to be said only 25% are introverts, but a few studies are starting to challenge that now. I’m going to challenge you on the connection between introversion and discomfort with regular briefs or blogs though. I agree that some-one who is highly introverted (remember it is a scale, not a binary either / or) may be uncomfortable with broadcast type communications (eg townhall meetings)
However, as introverts do get energy from one-to-one or small group discussion, they are perfect to lead small group briefings and even better at writing blog posts (where the feedback is moderated and provided with time to reflect and gather your thoughts).
I wonder if you are using the term introverted to describe social shyness? Either way, here are some ways for an introvert, or some-one who prefers to be quiet in social situations to communicate to the masses.
1) If you are doing a townhall, reframe your speaking opportunity to focus on a specific persona – eg the typical employee, the most important stakeholder. In this way you are talking to “just one person”, it just happens that there are a few others listening in! Have your key managers or business representatives up with you to assist in answering questions. You represent a team of change leaders — answering questions from the masses needs a team approach.
2) Do give blogging a go. When you write, again you write for one. You have time to be reflective and think through your thoughts before making them public. Recognise that the blog is the start of a conversations. You want feedback and you can continue the conversation in the comments. It takes the pressure of writing something perfect. You can clarify in your own time, with again the opportunity to think and reflect.
3) Communicate to the masses via team cascades. You start with the top team, and provide them with talking points that they then cascade to their teams. And so on. It’s a trickle down effect to the masses. You do need to have a single source of truth some-where publicly accessible though, so that if the message gets misinterpreted there is a correct version available.
4) Focus on a strength based approach and value centred approach. Stay congruent to your personal beliefs. Discomfort emerges when you are speaking about things you don’t believe in, or are uncomfortable putting forward. If you have a passionate belief in what you have to share, the discomfort resides.
5) It’s not about you, it’s about your employees. These are the people who will drive your change forward and that success is dependent on. Which is more important, your discomfort or the success of your program? Hopefully it is the latter…
Anyway, SJD, I hope this is of assistance. Good luck with your program.In the mean time have you seen this great video from TED on The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain? If not take 20 to enjoy! There’s also an interesting e-book ” The Introverts Guide to Success in Leadership and Business” by Lisa Petrilli here..
Have you a question from the Transformation Treasure Trove you would like answered? Send it to me or leave it in the comments and I will pick it up in a future post.