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The Introvert's Guide to Running a Meeting

December 26, 2016

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Download our leadership guide for actionable advice & guidelines from  HubSpot's Dharmesh Shah.

What do you think of when you see the word “introvert”?

“Shy,” “quiet,” and even “antisocial” might be some qualities that come to mind. But we’ve got news for you: How we think of introverts is pretty misconstrued from the actual definition. An introvert, according to, is “a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings.” Let’s explore that.

Looking at that definition, introverts aren’t necessarily the timid lambs that stereotypes make them out to be. Rather, they’re introspective individuals who can still be outgoing — they just don’t crave being around other people, speaking and presenting, all the time. Download our leadership guide for actionable advice & guidelines from  HubSpot's Dharmesh Shah.

That’s why it might be a bit trickier for introverts to run a meeting — not because they’re reticent, but because they take extra time to process their internal thoughts and surroundings, according to Quiet Revolution, an organization dedicated to the science of psychological introversion.

But “tricky” certainly doesn’t translate to “impossible.” So if you’re an introvert who’s been charged with a running a meeting, check out these tips.

But First, a Little More on Introversion

I’ll never forget the day I found out that I might be an introvert. I came across an article that described the characteristics of introverts, and realized that they many of my social patterns — things like enjoying quiet time to myself, or in a social situation, opting for longer conversations with fewer people (rather than small talk with tons of strangers).

But how could I be an introvert? I was a theatre minor. I used to sing with a punk band. Those were not things that introverts do, right?

Wrong. The more research I do on introversion, the more I realize that it’s a vastly misunderstood population. And it’s a big population. According to the Quiet Leadership Institute (an extension of Quiet Revolution), half of the U.S. workforce identifies as introverts.

Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution, explored these misconceptions in her 2012 TED talk. I, like many others, had introversion confused with shyness, or maybe even stage fright — neither of which I’ve ever possessed. But introversion, she explained, is “different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.

That’s what makes us different from extroverts, who “crave large amounts of stimulation,” noted Cain. It’s not that introverts are afraid to lead meetings — or speak in public, sing with a punk band, or go to parties alone. The distinction is how we prepare for or function in those situations.

But when it comes to introverts and extroverts, one isn’t better than the other. Plus, according to Cain, the “best performing teams are a mix [of] introverts and extroverts.

So when it comes to those meetings, here are our …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog