A major challenge many leaders face is getting their team members to open up and share ideas. Whether it’s in a large meeting or one on one, we can have a hard time getting others to share.
The challenge stems from the fact there are at least 3 types of people that we lead. And each one has a different way they’re comfortable sharing their ideas.
1. The outgoing one: You know who I’m talking about. He’s the first to speak up. For him, you don’t really have a problem getting him to speak up.
You ask, he speaks. And he speaks. And he speaks some more.
Getting him to not share is more of a challenge than getting him to let you know what’s on his mind.
I don’t think I have to go into much detail on getting the outgoing. Take him into the public arena and let him throw his ideas out there.
He’s comfortable in the view of others. Don’t stifle him.
2. The reserved one: When you have a reserved one on your hands, he doesn’t like to share in a public forum. Instead, he likes to have one on one conversations.
You get him alone with just yourself, you’re going to find a lot of great ideas flow.
He’s willing to share. Just not in public.
Bring the reserved one into private meetings. Ask him to share his thoughts with you. Seek to get to know him without the crowds.
Before you know it, you’ve got the reserved one opening up.
3. The thinking one: Lastly, you have the thinker. He goes deep into thought and stews over his words.
Rather than speaking in public or private, he’d like to share his ideas with you via the written word. There, he’s comfortable.
He’s able to craft his statements. He’s able to hone his ideas to the point he feels safe to share. And he’s able to accurately communicate what’s on his mind.
Don’t force the thinking one to share his ideas right away. Let him go back to his office and ponder what’s been said.
Then, let him pen a missive that shares his thoughts and ideas. There’s gold in what he’s going to write.
Leadership requires us to deal with many different types of people. We’ve got the outgoing ones, the reserved ones, and the thinking ones. Or maybe a mix.
Be open to different forms of communication from each type of team member.
Question: Do you allow your team members to communicate on their terms? Why or why not? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
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