3 Quick Tips to Help Naturally Shy Team Members Become a Part of the Team

A well balanced team is built of employees of varying degrees of extroversion. Some of your most talented team members might also be some of your shyest. While their value to the organization may not necessarily be directly tied to their comfort in more social situations, every member of your staff should be able to communicate and engage with other team members in a manner where they are comfortable and able to contribute to the success of the group. Today’s article discusses a few things you as a manager can do to help naturally shy members of your staff become part of the team.

Connect Them with a Partner or Mentor

Many shy people are better able to connect with others individually rather than as part of a large, imposing group. Allowing them the chance to meet and interact with other team members on a one-on-one basis can help them develop the individual relationships they need to feel more comfortable as part of the larger team. Using the buddy system is an easy way to make sure your shy staff members will always have someone to talk to about any issues or questions they might have as they are settling into their new work environment. Better yet, setting them up with a mentor who can provide the guidance and support they need can help initiate a positive work relationship that will benefit both mentor and mentee for many years to come.

Help them Find Their Comfort Zone

Confidence is key for naturally shy employees. Giving them the opportunities to build their confidence in a new social setting, and then challenging them to grow beyond their comfort zone at a manageable pace will set the stage for their professional and personal growth. When welcoming them into the folds of a new team, it is best to start small and ease them into situations where they are asked to contribute in meaningful ways that will help them build their confidence over time.

Rather than dropping them into a situation where there is a higher risk of failure or of embarrassment, allow them to set the pace for how much they want to contribute within a team environment at first. If they are having difficulty moving beyond where you believe they should be performing as an established member of the team, a sympathetic but firm nudge in the right direction might be appropriate. But remember that their shyness is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of their skills or abilities on the job.

Provide Bonding Opportunities

Team bonding happens naturally through the various trials and successes commonly experienced on the job. But team building exercises are a fun way to engage and encourage your staff to work with each other in new and interesting ways that will help develop their team building skills on the job as well. Providing your introverted team members with the chance to work with their new team in a no-pressure environment can help to reduce their shyness on the job as well.

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