A good leader makes room for introverts to be heard, the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke reminds. In a recent post on the UUA blog Growing Vital Leaders, in an essay titled “Making Space for the Quiet Voices,” she argues for making sure that everyone in a meeting is invited to speak.
She writes, “I’ve learned from experience that some of the best ideas and reflections come from the introverts or the people who might be at the margins of the conversation because of age or culture.”
The blog entry also includes a brief video from the Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom, author of the book Serving With Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice. In the video, Wikstrom advises leaders to speak last:
If you are usually one of the first ones to speak make it a discipline to hold your tongue for a while. Hold back. Let others talk first. Nine times out of ten you’ll find your really good ideas coming out of other people’s mouths. Since this really isn’t about showing how smart you are, is it, but about furthering the work of the church in a way that also deepens your spiritual life, you can rejoice that the important ideas got out there and you got to practice humility. And of course if anything has been unsaid, you can say it at the end.