They’re not anti-social and they’re not quiet. They just need time to recharge between social functions. By now you’ve heard of the power of the introvert but is your association engaging them in a meaningful way and helping them connect to the community? Here are a few tips on how you can help:
While I just told you I was giving you tips on how you could get them engaged, know that some people feel very engaged and connected to your community just by lurking. If your association provides a number of varied activities from in-person events to online networking, introverts will find one that feels comfortable for them. The key is in respecting how they want to engage with you and providing a variety of outlets in which to do so.
Encourage Individual Volunteering
Committee work is not entirely unappealing to introverts as long as the committee stays on task. Being an introvert doesn’t negate the desire to give back. Introverts can be more empathetic than their out-going counterparts, but they find the necessary pleasantries tedious when they have a job to do. Ensuring your committees are task oriented will make them more appealing to introverts.
Sadly, most introverts hear the word “committee” and think of endless drudgery and political hoop jumping. Creating volunteer opportunities that allow them to head up a project as a singular creative pursuit, or one in which they pick their own group to work, with may be the most effective way to get them involved.
Provide Writing Opportunities
Introverts need time to digest interactions. For this reason, they are frequently drawn to writing. It leaves them time to collect their thoughts and edit them into a piece that adequately expresses what they think and feel. They are deliberate communicators, not space fillers. This makes them excellent bloggers, newsletter writers, and online community content contributors. Encourage them to get involved in this way. Suggesting they cover an event or conference as a blogger or social media correspondent gets them in the thick of things and yet provides them with an opportunity to step away and process the interactions.
When introverts are comfortable in their social groups, you’ll see a much different, more engaged side of them. Your association can do a lot to help them find their niche in your group. When you do, you may be surprised by their loyalty and efforts. A quiet voice has much to contribute.