If you read the ‘Good Reads’ issue that I published at the end of last year, you’d know that I read a book that taught me a lot about myself as an introvert. Don’t get your hopes up into thinking that I have overcome my introvertism; I haven’t. Since reading Quiet, I have only been able to notice more the instances in which I am being my introverted self.
I’m in them ALL. THE. TIME! All the time. Especially since I am one of the newest members of the team at work. I am pulled into meetings that may or may not be relevant to the specific project that I am working on. Most times, I don’t mind the meetings because I get to learn about different coworkers and about what they do. Other times, I just sit there like a fly on the wall either confused or in a daze.
During my first couple of weeks at work, there was a client that was interested in working with the company and we had very short turnaround time to get them some information they requested, along with some initial ideas. I was still getting acclimated to the environment here, I hardly knew anyone, and I was completely ignorant to all terminology that was being thrown around. I was pulled into a brainstorming meeting regarding a brand that I am familiar with but have zero knowledge about. These are the worst kinds of meetings for me.
Unlike “typical” meetings where you sit and listen and if you really have a question to ask, you ask it, a brainstorming meeting encourages constant input into the conversation. There is no waiting until the end to ask a question. You have every right to get the idea out right as it pops up.
I tried. Sitting in the meeting, I tried very hard to contribute something to the conversation. I wasn’t sure if I couldn’t because I had very, very, very, little knowledge of the product or if it was because, by nature, I am not very chatty. I chalked it down to be a combination of both.
I am more of a person that soaks up information and then comes up with an idea, but that is a gift and a curse. I usually end up self editing and basically cutting out everything I ever thought of. I know, I know. The point of brainstorming is to bounce ideas off of others and develop them to be great ones. I also fear being that person that has sucky ideas.
This is a situation that I haven’t really been in prior to now (not to the point that it mattered much) but I definitely want to work on this because being in the advertising industry, there are and will continue to be a ton of meetings where collaborating has to happen.
Have any of you had similar experiences? I’d love to hear from those who aren’t introverted about how they maneuver in brainstorming meetings. I could definitely use some pointers. Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section and if you liked this post, share it!