Introverted Leadership Toolkit
Managing Energy
The Perceptions of Others
Managing Your Profile
What introverted leaders said about the challenges of Meetings
Positive Approaches to Managing Contributions to Meetings
What introverted leaders said about
how they manage their contribution
to Meetings
Leading Teams
One-to-one Relationships
Networking and Socialising
Self Perception
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Reflecting and Synthesising
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What introverted leaders said about the challenges of Meetings

  • “I intensely dislike meetings or big groups.”

  • “Initially, I experienced a lack of confidence associated with not being able to find my voice and contribute to large group meetings... I felt frustrated that I often had useful thoughts about the issues being discussed but I couldn't connect them with my mouth quickly enough to contribute them. The group conversations moved too quickly for me and a few people who were more articulate than me frequently dominated. This lead to a perception that I had nothing to offer. Sometimes, I would find my voice towards the end of a discussion and contribute a view or suggestion that appeared to unlock a situation - which in turn led to a perception that I had been deliberately holding back and should have been more helpful at an earlier stage in the discussion.”

  • “I tend to find I get easily over-talked. I will be the one that shuts up and the volume and tone of my voice doesn’t allow me to be heard.”

  • “There was a big event... I was the most junior person there. There was a very brisk discussion, I almost felt tortured wanting to say things. Finally, I managed to get to say something about ten minutes before the end. The Chair, [a senior colleague] said “Thank God, I thought you were never going to speak”. I knew he was expecting me to speak and that made it worse. As Chairman of the meeting he could have invited me in, he could have said “I would like to hear from…”. I was burning to say things. I sometimes wonder if he would have let that meeting finish without me saying anything.”

  • “I think Boards are typically made up of certain types of extroverts and they all repeat each other: as someone once said “everything that needs to be said has already been said but not everybody has yet said it.””

  • “I have felt at my most uncomfortable and stressed at times when extroverts have dominated the scene and have behaved in what seem to me to be chaotic, thoughtless, domineering and excluding ways. This isn't just about 'lots of people', it's about the type of person that they are. If several introverts are in a room and there is even one extrovert displaying typical extrovert behaviour, the extrovert can completely shift the process and progress of discussion. I find this very stressful. If the situation is reversed, and one introvert is in a room of extroverts, then it takes a huge amount of effort, extremely clear communication and a great sense of timing for me to make a positive contribution to the discussion.”