How to Succeed in Your First Job

The Extrovert’s Guide to Meetings

work culture, entry-level jobGroup dynamics are an important part of any work environment and finding an effective way to communicate with your co-workers is especially important. For teams that include both introverts and extroverts, this means finding a good balance between different styles of communication. If you’re an extrovert, you may be wondering about the best way to connect with your introverted co-workers while setting yourself up for your own success.

Whether you’re working at a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, here are some tips to help you handle workplace interactions in a sensitive and effective way.

Pay attention to group dynamics

In order to make the most of each meeting, take a moment to assess group dynamics before speaking and be sensitive to each person’s needs. For example, if you have a co-worker who feels easily intimidated by group interactions but has great insights, try to set up smaller meetings (or one-on-one chats) to ensure that they are comfortable sharing their ideas. This will create an environment where everyone can express themselves in the best way possible.

Have an agenda and prepare ahead of time

One of the wonderful things about extroverts is that they’re able to keep the conversation flowing in both professional and social situations. Although this skill is quite useful in furthering conversations, it can sometimes lead extroverts to approach business meetings as collaborative brainstorming sessions rather than as structured meetings. While this isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, having an agenda will ensure that the goals of the meeting are met before any additional brainstorming or idea sharing takes place.

Pro Tip: If you’re leading the meeting, circulating an agenda ahead of time is a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page before the meeting begins. And if you want to carve out time for a brainstorming session, this is the perfect way to do it — just reserve 10-15 minutes at the end for everyone to share their thoughts.

Time your presentations

Many extroverts are also great presenters who are likely to be more comfortable with public speaking than their introverted co-workers. However, this natural comfort with presenting can sometimes be accompanied by a tendency to go off script and talk for longer than planned. In order to ensure that you stay on track and don’t run over your allotted time, it’s important to time your presentations and to stick to your topic as closely as possible.

Pro Tip: Always practice your presentations. This will give you a sense of how best to discuss the information you’re presenting and it will also give you an idea of where you can go off script and improvise.

Always ask questions

Since extroverts are great at facilitating conversations, they are naturals when it comes to getting those around them to share their ideas. One of the best ways to do this is by asking questions to gauge everyone’s thoughts on the meeting and find out the key takeaways and action points. Asking each person to share their thoughts will ensure that everyone gets a chance to talk and that the team benefits from each person’s individual expertise.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts and extroverts often work very well together. In fact, the two personality types tend to balance each other out, creating a cohesive dynamic. If you’re among the more extroverted members of your team, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that you’re actively participating in meetings while creating a productive environment for everyone around you. This will likely lead to success for the whole team while also highlighting your leadership skills.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Be a Team Player and find answers to common interview questions such as Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?