Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to Facilitation Stories, where we discover how facilitators ended up in the profession, and how facilitation methods, principles and techniques are used more widely. Brought to you by IAF England and Wales. For more information on our chapter, click here.

Aug 17, 2020

In this episode Helene talks to Jon Baker about introverts.

They start off by discussing Jon’s passion for scuba diving!

Jon talks about his work with leaders in organisations, who want to get more from their team, and about his survey where he discovered that about 1/3 of people say that they are not fully productive in business and that most of these are introverts. He describes the different ways that he works with people in businesses to help introverts.

Helene asks Jon about statistics for introverts and extroverts and about what distinguishes people who identify as introverts.

Jon talks about “people energy” and some of the neuroscience behind it which may mean that introverts get more exhausted by people energy than extroverts. He also talks about how introverts process internally and extroverts externally. From these two main features people often think things about introverts, for example that introverts are quiet.

Helene asks what kinds of things facilitators need to look out for to include the introverts in the room:

               Being aware, holding back some of the talkative people, encouraging quieter people to speak, speaking to introverts by name, giving introverts the chance to speak, making sure contributions from introverts are valued.

They discuss the importance of silent reflection and writing in brainstorming.

Jon talks about the different types of introverts and extroverts, how to spot the introvert, and being careful not to label people.

Helene asks Jon what the benefits of being an introvert are. He talks about introverts bringing a different perspective on thinking which helps in avoiding groupthink and the reason for having a group being the richness of thinking.

Helene asks Jon about ice breakers. Jon talks about the importance of considering how happy introverts feel as part of a team and how giving introverts a role is useful, as is knowing the value or reason behind any kind of engagement activity. Knowing the benefits and structure of the session is important. Jon shares an example of an ice breaker that didn’t go down so well!

Helene asks Jon about comfort zones and how it is best to “push” people outside their comfort zones or “stretch” comfort zones.

The discussion then turns to the virtual world and Helene asks Jon about how introverts are coping with lockdown and doing more on line.  Jon dispels a few myths about introverts liking to be alone and enjoying online meetings and suggests that actually introverts prefer meetings that have structure which is often more needed and more present in online meetings. However it is often harder for introverts to get their point across online.  

Get in touch through Twitter with Jon @divingjon and check out his website

Connect with @helenejewell on Twitter

Get in touch via email - Send us some text, or even an mp3 audio! Or just tell us you're listening! Twitter: @IAFEnglandWales; use #iafpodcast
Find out more about us over at the EnglandWales page on