This won't be new ‘NEWS’ to you Mischief Maker but of course different people and personality types, will require different types of facilitation to help them move through change and development. One core difference we can recognise within people, which can influence their working style, is if they are an Introvert, Extrovert (or Ambivert!).
There are stereotypes connected to both introverts and extroverts - old school thinking labelling introverts as shy and quiet, extroverts as outgoing and loud. Many recent studies have begun to de-bunk these myths, and offer a more representative description of what it means to be introverted or extroverted.
Introverts need time and space to process their thinking, to take everything in and form their response. That being the case, exercises such as quick fire idea brainstorming can feel draining for them. On the other hand, extroverted people think out loud and gain energy creating with others. They are triggered in real time by thoughts and suggestions by others - whereas they can find individual tasks uninspiring and draining.
As a Facilitator, it is important to factor in the need for both modes of thinking, within all of your exercises. This could mean building in both quick fire rounds and blocks of individual working time to unlock the most potential within every team member. Bare in mind, because Online Sessions in particular tend to be shorter sessions (we recommend 2,5 -hour tops per online workshop) there may be a bias towards quick fire rounds. Consider how to utilize ‘pre-work’ to allow introverts more thinking time. Or get brutal with cutting parts in your time to make more space for individual thinking moments. Check out our article on different conversation formats that can cater to both personality types.
Try to use different formats within your workshops which are catered for both intro- and extraverts.
Instead of diving into a collective conversation use a 1-2-4-all format where you give participants the time to think individually first, discuss in pairs and groups of 4 before they share with the whole group. In this case, introverts get time to think individually first and extraverts to re-think their standpoints.
Of course introvert and extrovert is only one of the factors we can consider when exploring personality types. You’re probably all familiar with different types of personality tests ranging from your personality colour to various explicit persona’s.
It’s great that these resources are out there and one click away but we encourage you to start small by starting with a self-reflection. You can begin with having a go at describing “Me in a sentence…”. Use any adjectives or descriptions that fit your personality.
The next step would be to ask your colleagues, friends or family to fill this in for you too. See if there’s any overlap, which conclusions or patterns can you draw from these answers and uncover about your own personality type. You can see this as a more qualitative approach towards uncovering your own style and way of working.