Of all the RIDO Scales, it is this one that seems to bring out the stereotypes! Repeatedly using the term Extrovert and Introvert (as in ‘Extroverts do this’, and ‘Introverts like that…’) can unintentionally have the effect to categorising people. A way to avoid this labelling is instead of saying ‘Extrovert’ and ‘Introvert’; try: ‘people with a preference for Extroversion/Introversion’. While it takes longer to say, it does help avoid ‘boxing’. It’s also consistent with the idea that we can all do Extroverted and Introverted things, it’s just we tend to prefer one over the other.
Here are two quick activities for the E-I Scale:
E-I CardsThis is a simple way of illustrating that it can be a challenge to use the less preferred construct. It only takes 10 minutes including discussion time.
Explain the E-I Scale using PowerPoint Slides or the Personal Discovery Workbook. Then ask participants:
- Who has a preference for Extroversion?
- Who has a preference for Introversion?
- Do not be the first to speak
- Do not interrupt
- Think carefully before speaking
- Be the first to speak
- Don’t think too much about what you are going to say before speaking
After a couple of minutes discussing the team celebration, ask each person to read out loud what was written on their card. Then ask how they found the activity. Usually the response is that it was uncomfortable and required a great deal of effort. This is because they have to work against their natural preferences.
The point of this is to illustrate that firstly people relate in different ways, and secondly that it is challenging to modify your style. This is a good lead in to the concept that in order to be more effective at work you don’t need to change your preferences, but you may need to modify your behaviour.
Ask participants to reflect on the strengths and liabilities of their preferences, select one area for improvement, and develop a plan for desired change.
Request and OfferThis is a variation on the commonly used ‘Line up’ exercise.
Ask participants to imagine an E-I continuum across the room and line up according to where they think they would be on this continuum at work. Firstly ask the group general questions that will give an insight into the differences between people with a preference for Extroversion and Introversion (e.g. What are each group’s attributes? What does a productive meeting look like? What do you appreciate about the opposite preference?).
Then split participants into an ‘E’ group and an ‘I’ group and ask them to spend a few minutes developing 3 requests (things the other team can do for them). Each group then put their ‘requests’ to the other group, who then respond with 3 ‘offers’.
A next step can be to use the 3 offers from each group as the basis of team communication ground rules. These ground rules can be added to meeting agendas to ensure we get the best from every team member’s preferences.
Do you have a ‘signature’ exercise for the RIDO scales? I’d love to hear your suggestions.
More games and activities are available on our Games TMS People Play resource which all participants receive as part of accreditation in the Team Management Systems Profiles.