How to approach team building as an introvert

How to approach team building as an introvert

You’ve just received an email about a team building event. Nearly everyone in the office is spilling over with enthusiasm, however, as an introvert this news is cringe-worthy. You’re not very social. You tend to work better on your own and team building feels more like punishment than pleasure. So how can you turn this event into a positive and make it work for you?

There are a few mental tricks you can use in your favor that will make team building feel less intimidating and perhaps even a little enjoyable.

  1. Let leaders lead, don’t be afraid to take a backseat

    Natural leaders don’t hide. They make themselves known without much persuasion. Let them shine and do what they do best –take the driver’s seat. Now you can be directed into a more suitable position that doesn’t require you to go out of your way or push you to become someone you are not.

  2. Be a voice of encouragement

    Positive reinforcement is an integral part of the whole if team building is to be successful. Participants love to hear inspiring words. This propels them into their best selves. Give a high five or a pat on the back if that’s an acceptable way to show support. Offer single word support – great, wonderful, excellent, nice, bravo.

  3. Remind yourself the activity is only temporary

    Remind yourself that what is happening is only temporary. Team building is not your new job title or career trajectory, but merely a fleeting activity. In the waves of team building, know that as quickly as the event appeared, it will just as quickly disappear, never to be seen again. Or at least, not until the company demands a revamping of employee relationships. Each time, you’ll get better at reminding yourself that it’s all transient and doable.

  4. Find something positive to say about each step and person involved

    A useful way to keep yourself distracted is to focus on the positive. Not only will you boost feel-good hormones, but the act of noticing positive aspects will allow you to be involved in team building without the attention. For each thirty minutes that you are engaged in team building, try to say one nice thing about the process or the people participating. And see if those thirty minutes don’t just fly by, but also feel much more gentle, even inviting.

  5. Set a goal for what you want to get out of the team building exercises

    Even if you are dreading team building, the best way to approach it is to have a goal in mind. Let’s say you want to survive – that’s a great goal. But how about pushing into growth edges and set up a goal that will foster productivity at a personal or professional level. Instead of never speaking up, let two people speak before you, then offer feedback. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, use breathing to guide you through. Instead of going through the movements, find a skill you’d like to enhance that will lift self-confidence.