Bring talented introverts out of their shells!

How Teambuilding Helps Boost Confidence

Any team in the workplace is made up of a collection of individuals who all contribute a rainbow of skills, knowledge, experience and personality. Different people make up different parts of a team – some with ideas, some who are planners, some who will always ensure a project is finished with all loose ends tied up and everyone has vital input.

There are instances though when there are talented members of a team who are too shy to shine. They are clever and have great ideas and excellent knowledge of their work. They don’t feel however that they have the confidence to contribute and it is a shame as their team will be even stronger with the capabilities this person could add to the office melting pot.

Bringing someone out of their shell at work takes time. Spring a big surprise on them such as informing them they have to run a meeting or give a presentation is going to make the situation worse so it’s about developing rapport, giving praise and ensuring that workload matches their capabilities to show them how much value they bring to the team.

Introverted employees are always keen that they are perceived as being liked by their colleagues and there are always opportunities for them to thrive. Managers need to know how to deal with an introverted team member and a good way to help with their confidence is often to assign them a task which requires meticulous and conscientious work. This will appeal to their quiet nature and they can show their skills off to their best as they produce heavily-detailed work which has required great concentration. As their confidence in the standard of their work grows, so will their willingness to begin to contribute in other similar projects.

Make group situations easy for the introverted team member to give their feedback. Tell them in advance of meetings the kind of thing they will need to contribute so they can come prepared. They will probably still be nervous but won’t feel the questions have been sprung on them. Thank them for sharing their thoughts and give positive feedback on their ideas. Openly rejecting what they say will push them more into their shell and it’s unkind. Ask them to put together a document or article before a meeting about a project they are working on and then to distribute it amongst the team during the meeting. This means they don’t need to verbalise their work which may make them feel shy and filled with worry beforehand, but it gives colleagues the chance to read the structured report and then give comment or to ask questions. It puts the introverted person in control as they have the answers to hand and as it is their project and article, there are no surprise subjects which could be raised.

Working to bring an introverted team member out of their shell to really show their talents takes some time but with carefully structured responsibilities given, the opportunity for them to give written information and feedback rather than verbal and letting them see that they excel at the tasks they perform all help to show their contribution and to gradually let their talents shine through and their confidence grow.

The range of programmes and workshops on offer from Team Building Solutions offer you a multitude of different ways to help & promote healthy team working skills in a variety of situations. It’s important to improve these skills in every individual of your team to ensure an effective, driven team ethic is instilled throughout your company on a short term and long term basis. You can contact our team via email at or; alternatively, you can contact us via telephone on 01425 629327 or 07887 985859.



The answer to why my wife can never see anything beyond what she’s looking at!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my wife coming towards me in her car and I’ve flashed my lights, waved frantically and generally tried to catch her attention only to have her drive straight past me without so much as a glance. What must I do to get this woman’s attention??!!

Finally, on Horizon: How You Really Make Decisions I had my answer! It’s not that she is trying to ignore my flashing lights, etc, it’s just that she can’t see me.

My incredulity pales into significance when you hear the case of the American police officer who was charged and found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice when he failed to notice fellow officers beating up a suspect  whilst chasing a suspect of his own. In field tests shown on the programme, 50% of subjects failed to notice a fight taking place on the route they took as they ‘chased’ someone they had to follow. Not one person on the jury could believe that he could have missed seeing this altercation taking place during his own pursuit. They obviously don’t have a spouse like mine!

The term given to this is ‘Inattentional Blindness’ – an inability to take in things in your periphery vision when concentrating on a specific task. I’m sure a lot of people will remember the video where you have to look out for certain things and completely miss seeing someone dressed in a gorilla suite. It’s that phenomenon that causes my wife to not see anything but the road ahead!

Once that aspect had been put to bed, there was the argument introduced that we have two decision making processes. A theory put forward Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman where we have a fast process and a slow process. The theory states that it is our fast intuitive process that makes most decisions whilst our slow process comes up with reasons to justify these decisions! The programme gave several examples of how we can see this in action – a simple example was to ask people to answer the following:

What is 2 x 2? The answer came immediately without requiring any though. We know the answer almost intuitively.

What is 22 x 17? This requires time to work out as it’s not something we would know automatically.

A great programme all in all and if you are interested in human behaviour, well worth watching. If you missed it, try to watch it on this link to the BBC iPlayer.

We explore these type of characteristics in our behaviour workshops, such as MBTI, SDI and Belbin Team Roles. These will give you a great insight into what drives our behaviour and our preferred working styles.

The Krypton Maze Explained

We are often asked if we can make one of our events have a certain outcome. The simple answer is yes. The perfect example of this is our Krypton Maze activity. This consists of a series of physical and cerebral challenges that are designed to test a teams team work capability. If you are of a particular age, you will remember the inspirations for this activity – Tv’s The Crystal Maze and The Krypton Factor. We have used the challenges in these shows as our inspiration. We have then incorporated some our our experiences to come up with a mixture of challenges that not only engage the extroverts in your team, but also the introverted thinker.

To help understand the way in which this activity can engage your team and be tailored to a variety of outcomes, we have produced the following document. As this is one of our most popular events, we hope this will help understand why it is such a versatile and popular event.

The Krypton Maze


The difference between ‘building’ and ‘bonding

Following on from our previous post on making a differentiation between ‘teambuilding‘ activities and ‘team bonding‘ activities, we put together a guide to help clarify the difference and illustrate ‘the team building continuum’.

I hope you find it interesting!

What is the long term value of teambuilding?

This was a question raised in the International Teambuilding Association group on Linkedin that I formed some years ago. Have a look at the discussion on the link, but here is my response!

I’ve mentioned in countless articles and blogs about the difference between ‘team bonding‘ and ‘team building‘ activities. I like to think of the range as a continuum with each term at either end and the range of activity options falling into the gap between. 
The problem we have is that any company that offers a ‘team bonding’ session will call it a ‘team building’ activity. I feel that we should just call it what it is. 
Both ends of the continuum have their merits, but both have completely different outcomes associated with them. The client must ultimately select the correct type of activity depending on their required outcomes. For example, there is no point taking a team paintballing if there are issues within the team that need some type of intervention to help them overcome the problems. Any competitive fun events will only have two possible outcomes in this scenario – either the rifts deepen or a band aid is placed over a much bigger wound. Both are not really the desired outcome that you really want. 
Going back to the original question, the value of ‘team building‘ is far more considerable than a ‘team bonding’ activity in my experience. Ultimately, if a company is saying that it’s something ‘they have to do’, there won’t be much you can do as culturally they are not buying into the benefits of developing their teams and I’m sure this will be reflected in their work place. Some of these companies see their annual ‘team building’ session as a way of ticking a box to show they care about their employees. 
It’s so refreshing when you visit HR departments where there is a real people focus. They understand that developing their people helps develop their business. 
How do we change the situation? Until ‘team bonding‘ becomes a separate entity distinct from ‘team building‘ I think we are pretty much stuck with everything being lumped under the one umbrella. It’s our job to try to get our clients and potential clients to understand the difference so I guess the ball is in all our courts?

Can you spot the difference between the type of activities below?