Of course, as a leader, you are the role model and you will drive a lot of the conversation.

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who focuses on shifting people from languishing to flourishing. In this video, I want to talk to you about how to increase team participation. In a recent coaching session, I had a regional manager coming to me and saying that they’re all concerned about the participation of team members.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this common dilemma occurring. Not everybody in your team participates in a meeting. That wasn’t the case when you meet with them face-to-face, and it’s not the case when you meet with them. However, now in the virtual hybrid working environment, leaders require the teams to participate even further and even in more depth.

And the reason is that all new objectives have to be established. It’s a new environment that we are in. So, we need everybody to contribute, to come up with new ideas of leading new ideas of managing Situations, and new ideas of working together. So, I want to leave you with three ideas of how you can perhaps increase participation in your team.

1. Give your team permission to actively participate

The first one is give your team permission to actually participate. Most leaders make the assumption that because they have thought it, that they want their teams to participate. That becomes a natural process. However, you really need to speak to your team and encourage them to collaborate. It’s not something they may be that used to, so it will take some time to build that level of trust and feel comfortable in that safe space to share ideas. However, give them permission and remove the assumption that you have told them.

2. Consider your team members personality types

The second one to consider is really look at the personality types of your team. Don’t just assume that because a person is not participating, that the topic that is being discussed is not of value to them or not of interest to them.

They might actually be agreeing to it, and so have nothing to say. But you do have to consider personnel. If you are working with introverted people in your team, you need to give them more time because, by nature, they do take time to think through a topic. They will mull over it. Think of multiple ways of solving it.

3. Notify people in advance of the problem to be solved

And only once they have figured that out, will they actively participate. In contrast, an extrovert likes to talk to things. So, they will very actively participate in the meeting because that will help them figure things out. Hence, you need to work and think about both of your team members. And if you have a lot of introverts on your team, then tip three, fits in perfectly, which is give your team three to five days advance notice of what the topic is that you want them to think about. Tell them, this is what we need to discuss and that we need your input on. So, that means the introverts have more than adequate time to really mull over multiple ideas and solutions, have done all their pros and cons thinking. And that’s where you can encourage everybody to equally participate in a meeting, hold people accountable, to participate, open up that communication.

Of course as a leader, you are the role model and you will drive a lot of the conversation. But in time, the more you practice this with the team, the more they will volunteer to participate and share things with you. And not only just sit back and listen. So, think about those three.

Start introducing them one by one, but start off with first sharing with your team that you really want collaboration from them that you value them and that you respect their ideas and creativity.

Thank you for watching. I look forward to connecting with you in the next one.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What have you tried to get more active participation from your team?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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  1. Andre Joubert 13 January 2022 at 7:21 AM - Reply

    I would also suggest using tools like Slido , this way introverts can post comments or contribute without having to face the crowd, it’s also a great way to create heat maps of what the team is thinking as you close the meeting, here you simply ask for one word to describe how you feel.

    • Kerstin Jatho 13 January 2022 at 10:50 AM - Reply

      Thanks for the idea Andre! Slido is a very valuable resource to use. I love the heat map concept to get input on how people feel at the end of the meeting. Thank you for your valueble contributuin.

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