I'm a shy person, and tend to be the last to speak in a discussion or meeting.

But I noticed that in my group (a hobby group), most people are quiet too, and also passive when taking turns in discussion. This is problematic because sometimes we need to vote, or gather ideas, or even organize an event.

At these times, I think I need to at least lead the discussion (as the eldest person).

Keep in mind that all of my members are usually quiet, and I don't want the discussion stuck in one decision and others just agree because they don't want to give their opinion. There is no appointed leader.

How to lead the meeting successfully, as in members should be active in giving opinion, and I don't need to talk a lot?

I live in Indonesia, if that matters.

4 Answers 4


I can often be shy in social situations. One thing that helps when I lead meetings is to ask myself, "What would I wish the organizer would do in this situation?" You're not putting yourself out there in this case; you're serving the group by helping everyone stay on task.

A set agenda is always helpful in a meeting and will ensure that important business gets done. You can prepare it ahead of time or write it on a piece of paper so that everyone can see it and you don't need to speak aloud beyond "We're on item 3."

Watch for body language as best you can; if someone seems uncomfortable, ask them what they think.

There are all sorts of resources and tools for holding effective meetings, but one tool that I've found especially useful is the Fist to Five technique. When making a decision, ask everyone to raise a hand with zero to five fingers extended to indicate how much they support a proposal. Zero fingers (a fist) means they will never be okay with that proposal (usually a moral objection). Five means they love it. With this technique, you ensure everyone is heard; anyone under three fingers has a substantial objection and the proposal with the most fingers is best-supported.

I encourage you to read up on consensus-based decision making if you want to get better at helping groups handle business when no one is in charge.


In a group of introverts, a good solution is to offer online/paper feedback options to everyone. Freeform, or multiple choice, as appropriate.

Also, ask people if they would feel more comfortable if they have an option to offer feedback anonymously.


One thing that I've noticed is that if two or more "shy" people get together, the least shy person tends to step forward and take the lead.

You appear to be the "least" shy person in the group. So step forward and go for it. Realize that your shyness is actually an advantage in this group of shy people because you will have a better sense of what will and won't work with them than another, more extroverted person.

I have often found myself in this spot, and noticed the above with regard to myself.


You can lead a group without deciding for them. If a question is at hand, you can be a moderator of sorts. You can ask each one what they think in a tactful way that is inviting. Make sure that all comments are appreciated. Praise can be given every time someone speaks up. The key is to be invited to speak without consequence or ill feelings.

Minutes can be taken, and summaries of suggestions recorded. Then a vote can be taken. If you think it will help, make the vote anonymous by some means that is convenient (if possible).

As a precaution, you can save your comments until someone asks for it. But be sure that you are saying your ideas and convey that they are just as good/bad as anyone else's.

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