On April 7, 2015, I published an article entitled, “in meetings, Behave Yourself”. That article examined some meeting behaviors. However, this article will describe four additional types of team member behaviors that you may need to manage. Of course, there are certain challenging behaviors in most meeting.
Here are four types of team member behaviors that you may have to manage:
Loquacious People – People who are compulsive talkers often look for recognition. One way to give it to them is to ask them direct questions about which you know they are knowledgeable. You could also explain that you’d like to hear more about it at the break. Another technique is to forward questions to them that are in their sphere of interest and let them know that you are interested in their opinions, but that you need to hear from others, as well.
Whisperers – Sometimes when you have group participation, people tend to break off into small discussion groups. This practice is a major time guzzler, because the group is deviating from the planned course of action. One way to break up side discussions is to call for a break and diplomatically ask the guilty parties to cooperate. Another way is to ask the individuals to share their information with the group.
An indirect way to attack the problem is to suggest that the acoustics in the room are not particularly good, and that it’s impossible to hear with several people talking at once. Or, you might give in and break the group into smaller units for private discussions. You can always ignore side trackers, but this invariably leads to longer, less productive meetings.
Reserved People – Silence, under certain circumstances, can also be a time-guzzler at meetings. You can encourage participants by creating a congenial atmosphere and using direct questions when they are safe and without the possibility of embarrassment. Make sure everyone understands the issues and have a round-robin to provide an opportunity for everyone to voice an opinion. Make it clear that there are no stupid questions or concerns.
Power Grabbers – Explain your role at the outset and, when appropriate, answer a direct question. However, if you want to keep the meeting on track and save everyone’s time, you must be direct and forceful and control the meeting yourself. No meeting lasts too long unless it is permitted to do so.
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