How Do You Deal With Shy People?

Also: Success and Shyness, Overcoming Shyness, Love Shyness

By the very nature of shyness, you are likely to meet fewer shy people than those who are not shy. Although they are within your circle of life, they may hide in the shadows, withdrawing from reach at times you may be getting close to them. Because they are shy, they do not approach you; and you do not approach them simply because you do not know they exist, because you think they want to be left alone, or because you feel uncomfortable, not understanding shyness and not knowing how to deal with people who are shy.

It is inevitable, though, that there will be occasions when you need to communicate with shy people, and there will be shy people who you will benefit from your communicating with. It can therefore be useful to have an ability to communicate effectively with people who, by your standards at least, are shy.

Managers have a responsibility to deal with all types of characters, so it is particularly important that a manager can communicate effectively with shy people. Every person is different, and reasons for being shy can vary from person to person. However, the following tips for dealing with shy people may help you in your management role:

1. Be sure you are not confusing quietness with shyness. Most shy people are quiet, but not all quiet people are shy.

2. Try to understand the reasons for their being shy. You can only do that by communicating with them, and that is best achieved in a quiet way, encouraging them to feel at ease with you as you converse.

3. With all of your staff, you need to be a good listener to be a good manager. By being able to sit and listen to a shy member of staff, and respect what he or she is saying, you will not only learn about them, their ideas, and what their motivation is, but may also help them in overcoming shyness.

4. Shy and quiet people are not necessarily bad workers; in fact, the opposite is often true. If you can communicate with them, that alone will motivate them further. It will also give you the opportunity to draw out from them what they are especially good at, interested in, and capable of.

5. Once you have established a good line of communication with a shy member of staff, try to discuss their shyness, in a quiet and non critical way. If it affects their work adversely in any way, discuss what they may be able to do about improving things. Jointly setting personal objectives for them may help them to overcome the problem, at least partially, and enough to help them progress in their work.

6.Treating every member of staff as an individual is a key part of good management technique, regardless of their type of character and personality. With shy people, you may find it even more important. It is something they will appreciate perhaps more than an extrovert, who may not even be aware of your effort.

With understanding and consideration, shy members of staff can be nurtured into being a valuable contributor to your team. While they may never be an outgoing sales representative, there are many roles a shy person may successfully fill, and with your help, they can have as much potential as anyone else.