Being shy isn’t the end of the world, but it is something that has to be navigated, especially in a team atmosphere where everyone is expected to do his/her part. Let’s start dealing with the topic of shyness by defining it. The dictionary calls shyness the quality of self-consciousness or timidity, but the Encyclopedia of Mental Health takes it a bit further by stating that shyness interferes with one’s interpersonal or professional goals. Some scientists believe people can be genetically predisposed to shyness, while others cite various other reasons such as childhood environment and even technology (the idea that machines prevent us from communicating face-to-face). Whether we blame our mothers or our email accounts, the bottom line is this: on some given day, we are going to have to participate in a team situation. So, why not hold our chins high and do so with our best efforts? Here are three irrefutable concepts to keep you on your game
Understand Communication Takes Energy
Gregarious people are actually invigorated by social interaction and can walk out of a team meeting with more enthusiasm than when they walked in. Not so for the shy guy who really has to push himself emotionally to step up and step out. For that reason, it’s imperative that the shy guy finds time to refresh, reflect and reload regularly! He must also be careful not to overload himself with too many commitments in one day, if at all possible.
A Sounding Board is Sound Advice
It will always help the shy guy to be able to do a quick run down of the parameters of a team meeting ahead of time with a trusted coworker or friend. That way he has the opportunity to practice verbalizing his initial thoughts before they may be contradicted by another team member.
Don’t Make It Personal, But Make a Commitment
Team meetings, by design, are gatherings where many opinions, options and solutions are introduced in a short amount of time. Not every item can be acted upon and if a shy guy’s notions are rejected, it’s imperative to remember it’s the idea (NOT the person) that was set aside. The shy guy’s voice is still just as valuable, but only if he retains the commitment and courage to speak up at the next meeting.