Someone being loud

Look out for the quiet ones!

It is really easy to get distracted and have our management attention drawn to the loud and talkative people in our team. Since the pandemic, many managers have not found it easy to connect with remote working team members, especially in online virtual meetings, on instant chat messaging and even through email.

The new normal

As the UK road map and return to ‘normal’ begins we also need to look at for the quiet ones, understand how they are feeling and how they are coping with the return to the ‘norm’. The loud team members will more than likely tell you, without much prompting. However, quiet team members may retreat even more than they have done in the virtual world.

As a manager, along with your own strategies for coping in the new world, it is vital you establish some good communication practice with the team to ensure everyone is included.

Here are some nine steps you may wish to adopt:

  • Re real and authentic, create and encourage a culture of psychological safety, this will help team members to be happy and more productive.
  • Hold regular one to one meetings with team members.
  • Hold regular team meetings, using an agenda issued in advance to give structure and allow individuals to be aware of the topics before the meeting.
  • Encourage team members to advise of specific issues before the meeting and ask for their input on topics to discuss.
  • If your team are still working remote and your team meetings are virtual use visual icons such as the hand raise on the virtual platform, so your team can give their view points. Quiet team members may be less willing to ‘jump in’ and give their view, a hand raise may be more comfortable.
  • Encourage all of the team to use the camera in virtual meetings, it increases participation and engagement.
  • If you are returning to the office, or remaining working remotely schedule ‘non’ work catch ups to chat more generally and find out how individuals are coping.
  • Be honest, don’t tell ‘fibs’ that might catch you out later on, provide clear and concise communication. Even if your organisation is going through a period of change don’t make promises or statements that you have to later retract.
  • Above all be empathetic and listen to the team members point of view, help them with constructive and clear information to help them progress from their current situation.

If you want to support your managers and your team returning to the office, or continuing to work remotely my business TA Barker Associates, is a Management Training and Coaching consultancy. I have been delivering excellence in training for over 10 years, supporting hundreds of managers, team leaders, supervisors and business owners each year.

Get in touch for a no obligation conversation:

Previously published on LinkedIn 8th April 2021 (2) Look out for the quiet ones! | LinkedIn

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