Engaging the Introverted Crowd

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:38 AM by Kelsey Horne

open space technology
If you plan meetings, you may be aware of the meeting design Open Space Technology [Open Space]. It has become a well known method for participants to choose and discuss topics while they're together. Recently, critiques of this meeting style have emerged. Meeting blogger Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work says Open Space is very exclusive rather than inclusive and offers tips on how to avoid this exclusivity below.

?Using participant-driven process that favors extrovert participation is a disservice to everyone present, not just the introverts,? says Segar. Given that introverts make up about 25 to 50 percent of the population, especially in industries such as IT, it's important to include this group of attendees. 

Here are some tips on how to engage the more introverted group of your attendees according to Segar:
  • Be sensitive to the needs of introverts at such events by being aware of their actions.
  • Create a safe environment by setting ground rules at the beginning of the event.
  • When beginning the discussion, ask participants to write down an answer to the beginning questions. This allows introverts to reflect internally and gives them a foundation for participation.
  • Create a round-table discussion allowing everyone to have a turn to share and give everyone the same amount of time to speak.
Have you found success in a particular meetings model? Tacoma + Pierce County offers a number of options for teambuilding and discussion facilitation, team development and keynote speakers. Plan your next engaging meeting in Tacoma + Pierce County.
Author: Kelsey Horne


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