7 Tips To Deal With Introverted Corporate Learners In Online Training

7 Tips To Deal With Introverted Corporate Learners In Online Training
Summary: Not every member of your corporate audience has an outgoing personality. In fact, a good percentage of them may sit at the other end of the social spectrum. In this article, I'll share 7 tips for dealing with introverted corporate learners in online training. 

How To Deal With Introverted Corporate Learners In Online Training

According to Susan Cain, author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking", roughly 50% of the United States population are thought to be introverts. That means that a fair share of your corporate learners would rather fly solo than engage in social interactions. This also makes them less likely to actively participate in collaborative online training activities and share their insights during online discussions. Fortunately, there are 7 tips to cater to the specific need of introverted corporate learners so that they can achieve their online training goals.

  1. Give them time to reflect and review.
    Introverted corporate learners need some time alone to review what they've learned and reflect on how it applies in the real world. After each online training activity you should incorporate breaks that allow them to absorb and assimilate all of the information effectively. It's also essential to give them a breather after group online training activities so that they don't get overwhelmed and are able to regroup before moving forward. You can make these online training breaks more productive by asking them to summarize the online training content or complete self-assessments to test their progress.
  2. Use online discussions to push their boundaries.
    Create a discussion forum or social media page where your corporate learners can meet online to share their thoughts and opinions. You might even consider a group solely for introverts, particularly if you have outgoing corporate learners who may take over the online discussion. However, it's important to bear in mind that introverted corporate learners can only be coaxed so far before they feel stressed, anxious, or pressured. Make sure that you give them full control over their level of participation. For example, you can invite them to join the conversation, but it may take some time for them to actively participate.
  3. Pair introverts with an outgoing mentor.
    Some introverts may benefit from an outgoing mentor or study partner who can encourage them to take a more active role. Meeting with an entire group of peers is one thing, but being able to collaborate and consult with a single individual offers a more personal online training experience. Analyze your corporate audience, then divided them into two camps: the introverts and the extroverts. Pair each introvert with an outgoing co-worker who shares similar interests or personality traits. Make certain to offer your mentors and mentees ongoing support and the resources they need to succeed. An added benefit of a mentorship online training program is that your mentors will probably learn just as much from the mentees. For example, they might be able to improve their active listening skills.
  4. Create a calming online training atmosphere.
    Introverts need a relaxing and calming online training environment in order to keep corporate learners stress levels down. If your online training course is cluttered these individuals are going to be much more affected than their outgoing counterparts. This is due to the fact that introverts tend to be analytical and observant. They pay close attention to every element of the online training course design and the tone it conveys. Therefore, you should choose imagery, background music, and online training course layouts that are chaos-free. This also pertains to your color scheme and multimedia elements. Conduct focus groups after you've designed your online training course to ensure that it sets the right tone and makes corporate learners feel at ease.
  5. Include touches of humor.
    Your introverted corporate learners need an occasional escape from the stresses of online training, and humor usually does the trick. Humorous stories or videos give them an opportunity to have a laugh and take a step back from the subject matter. It also automatically links the online training experience to favorable emotions, which improves knowledge retention. Just make sure that the humor you use is appropriate based on the cultural backgrounds of your corporate audience. For example, a witty joke in one part of the world might be offensive in another.
  6. Create self-guided online training activities.
    One of the most effective ways to bring introverts into the online training fold is to let them explore and discover the subject matter on their own. Self-guided online training activities allow them to move at their own pace and fully assimilate all of the key takeaways before advancing. They can choose the online training activities that best suit their needs and preferences, instead of being forced to interact with their peers on a regular basis. Include scenarios, serious games, and simulations that feature memorable characters and storylines. This offers them the chance to gradually build their level of interaction and social comfort level. Of course, you can also throw some collaboration exercises into the mix and give them control over when and how they participate.
  7. Build communication and teamwork skills.
    Introverts become more confident when they have the skills to deal with social situations. Focus on communication, teamwork, and other soft skills that help them interact with their co-workers and customers. Concentrate on one skill at a time and use role playing, branching scenarios, and videos to demonstrate social behaviors. When you are showing them how to complete a task don't just give them a step-by-step walkthrough of the process. Instead, give them all of the knowledge and skills that underlie each stage of the task, such as negotiation or conflict resolution skills.

Before you start creating online training courses for your introverted corporate learners it's wise to ensure that they are actually introverted to begin with. In some cases, it might simply be a matter of lack of motivation, self-confidence, or other obstacles preventing them from engaging in social situations. Be sure to do your research and get corporate learner feedback to identify their specific needs.

Another way to help your introverted corporate learners engage in social situations through an online training program is to use eLearning course variables. Read the article 6 Tips To Use eLearning Course Variables To Create Personalized eLearning and discover how eLearning course variables give you the opportunity to create customized online training courses for every member of your corporate audience.