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You’ve got to start meeting like this

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by on
in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

One "difficult" person is ruining your meetings with his or her bad behavior. What do you do?

Those who pontificate or bully put a strain on the group and can sabotage productivity.

Here’s how to step in:

Set the tone for the meeting. Say something at the outset like: “I don’t expect us all to agree with everything said, but I want to hear all viewpoints. So say what’s on your mind and don’t criticize other ideas until we can fairly evaluate all input.”

Shine a spotlight on bad behavior. Say, “John. (Pause) Is this really going to solve our problem?” Even if you’re not running the meeting, you can attempt to change the climate by gently prompting other participants to speak up. Say, “I’d be interested in hearing Joan’s thoughts on this.”

Assign the person a job, such as timekeeper. You don’t need to be running the meeting to solicit help. If you’ll be recording minutes for the meeting, you might say, “Would you be kind enough to help run this meeting by serving as timekeeper?” A role in the meeting may stifle their attention-seeking behavior.

With these tried-and-true remedies, you can turn an unproductive meeting into an uplifting work session.

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