Team Building for Introverts

Psychology Today – The Introvert’s Corner

I found this blog by searching for “team-building for introverts”. We recently had a meeting at work to discuss possible team-building ideas. Team-building exercises and icebreakers usually make me break out in a cold sweat. I’m an introvert.

I’ve been reflecting on the pros and cons of introversion lately. I used to feel like something was wrong with me when I froze up during lunch at a conference. Sitting around a table with ten other people is torture.  I never know what to say or how to start a conversation then feeling self conscious for not joining in or tossing off a witty comment.

I felt like a bug under glass riding the school bus in high school. Everyone else was chattering away while I felt like a tongue-tied alien. I naturally preferred sitting in the back reading a book. I wasn’t trying to be anti-social. I just didn’t know how to join in.

I’ve recently given myself permission to just sit quietly and listen, not trying to force myself to contribute unless I really have something to say.

Splint said, “Getting back to teambuilding, I find that I don’t really have a problem with it when it relates to a specific work-related or assigned task or physical effort. I’d have no problem with team building softball game, or bowling night for example or if we were brainstorming marketing strategies for a new product. I can chime in during those anytime.

What’s funny is that bowling and softball were the only two suggestions that I felt comfortable with. Most of the other fun ideas made me want to break out in a cold sweat!

I’m reading Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected. It has helped me realize that it it’s not the social situations that stress me out, but trying to be something that I’m not (an extrovert).

Through multiple examples Devora Zack show how introverts can succeed at networking by ignoring The usual advice and rules, substituting them with stuff that works for us introverts. It’s not about overcoming shyness (because many introverts are not shy) but about being true to ourselves and focusing on our strengths.

I’m also reading Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Lifethat I picked up at the library yesterday.  It’s a quick read. (I’m speed-reading through it so I can review the other three books before I have to return them.)  I got about 40% through it while waiting for my car to get an oil change.  I like the large print. Many of the points Meghan Wier makes are similar to the other introvert books, but she does have some new suggestions.  Like connecting to BNI; Business Network International. I also liked her advice about following up with written notes instead of a phone call. Phones and I just don’t get along.  I’d much rather spend the $0.44 on a stamp and write a note.  Thanks Meghan!

I’ve never been to a so called “networking” event, though I have attended conferences, training and trade association chapter meetings where some networking goes on.

How do people get connected to these networking events?  Are they useful?  Effective?  What’s your take on this?

One Reason I Love My Library

Hermosa Beach Public Library
I’ve been reading up on networking for introverts.  As an introvert (off the chart!) networking is more terrifying than . . . well, just about anything. I read a blog on on introverted leaders that intrigued me. The majority of people feel that leaders need to be over-the-top extroverts to be successful. It turns out that this is not the case. Introverts can be great leaders too, if they learn to utilize their unique strengths. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time.

I’ve decided to take responsibility to make my life as successful as I think it should be. I went on the library’s online catalog to look up some resources to study. I put a few books on hold through the online catalog.  That’s right, anyone with a library card can do it.  And it’s free!  At least it is still free at the County of Los Angeles Public Library.  Other libraries around the Southland are starting to charge for holds.

Here’s the email I got today notifying me that the books I requested have arrived and are waiting for me to pick up. You see, it doesn’t matter that your local branch is small. That local branch has access to all of the materials in all the other branches in that library system. In this case, that is the Los Angeles County Library system with about ninety branch libraries. That is a lot of resources.

County of Los Angeles Public Library Home Page

The best thing is that the majority of these resources are free. Totally free! That makes your library card the best card in your wallet. All of your other cards, bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, all cost you money. You have to pay up for all the stuff you bought with them. Pay up plus interest!

But everything you get with your library card is free. As long as you return everything by the due date.

Subject: County of Los Angeles Public Library
Friday, August 26, 2011

Hermosa Beach Library
90254  310-379-8475

The items you placed on hold are now available.  You can pick them up at the
library listed above.

They will be held for two weeks, until the date listed below.
You can check your account by visiting our website at

Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Life / by Meghan Wier.
Wier, Meghan.
call number:650.1 WIER                                  copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength / Laurie
Helgoe, Laurie A.
call number:155.232 HELGOE                              copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011

Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money / Frederica J. Balzano with Marsha Boone Kelly.
Balzano, Frederica J.
call number:650.13                                      copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011