How to Engage Different Personalities

Guest Author: Amanda Lea Kaiser


Have you got introverts? Here are two interesting questions to ponder. Roughly what percent of your membership feels more introverted? Now, roughly what percent of your membership acts more introverted? I bet these answers are not the same.

So many people say that part of adulting is learning to act more extroverted despite feeling introverted.

During the Member Engagement Labs, Rita asked, “[What are some] approaches for [engaging] different personalities?” Great question!

I tend to design engagement with an introvert-forward approach. Here are some strategies that work:

Unofficial starts – the early birds at your in-person and virtual events often are introverts or are individuals who feel like introverts at that moment. They like to be early to get their bearings and might want to get away from the awkward, free-for-all networking. Feel free to open the Zoom room a few minutes early or start an activity for your in-person event early participants. They’ll be happy for something to do, and these short, fun activities can break the ice.

Progressive participation – is all about starting with questions and activities that are easy, quick, and captivating. Think about the responses you want first. A raised hand, a nod, a number, a letter (y/n), and a short word, design your first question around that very short response. Ah ha! Now, you’ve just gotten nearly everyone into the habit of participating. Over time, you can get into more substantive questions.

Win with writing – many introverts like to write their ideas. They love to turn their thoughts over a few times before speaking them. I don’t have scientific data to back this up, but I suspect that introverts love Zoom chat more than extroverts, while extroverts love breakout rooms (introverts generally don’t like breakout rooms.) Feel free to have a few different forms of engagement – chat, whiteboards, polls, feedback slides like Mentimeter, and, if the group is warmed up enough, yep, breakout rooms too.

Some professions and industries are more introverted than others. If you work for a particularly extroverted profession or industry, freeform breakout groups and receptions might work best for you. Thanks for the question, Rita. See you in the Labs!

About Our Guest Author

Amanda Lea Kaiser is a keynote speaker and author of Elevating Engagement: Uncommon Strategies for Creating a Thriving Member Community. Through her research, Amanda is at the forefront of exploring how member and attendee engagement is rapidly changing within professional communities.

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