time you lead or participate in a meeting, you are going to be confronted with
situations and behaviors that don’t work. Good people do things that don’t work
for others, and often times, they don’t even know it.
a moment and answer these two questions:
in a meeting that probably don’t work for others? (Interrupting, using technology, having side
conversations, hijacking the conversation, resisting what someone says, etc.)
who work with you, what feedback would you give to each person if they asked
you for guidance on how to improve in meetings?
these behaviors and addressing them is necessary to maintain the viability of
the meeting and the group. In my 35 years working as a personal effectiveness
consultant and corporate trainer, these are the most common questions and complaints
I’ve heard about meetings:
who keeps interrupting others?
goes on and on and on or brings up the same point over and over?
person who makes negative comments?
what they say they are going to do?
a leader, it is your responsibility to provide feedback to your people. And you need to be a role model for giving
feedback. You need to set high standards
in how you interact with people when they are being a bit difficult. Respond in
a way that the person you are interacting with will appreciate and so will
those who are watching the interaction. Respond in a way that matches your
standards. Avoid doing anything that, upon later reflection, you might wish you
dealing with behavior that doesn’t work, you have three options in increasing
order of confrontation:
taking it on.
You simply wait for the behavior to stop, then restart as though it didn’t happen.
This often is the best move because it is the most comfortable for everyone and
least confronting. The downside, of course, is that the behavior goes
unchallenged and perhaps unnoticed, and sometimes the quality of the group
conversation suffers as a result.
ask for what you want.
This is a bit confronting, but it does lessen the impact of the behavior. It
also allows you to take a stand for best conversational practices. The trick is
to do this in a way that doesn’t make someone wrong or upset the group
conversation. Your intention to be supportive and your tone of voice are
Let the individual know that the behavior
is distracting, disempowering, and costly to you and the group. This is the
most confronting of the three options, but it is the mostly likely option for
producing a long-term change in the behavior.
you will be.
they feel you are sincere.
isn’t what’s best in the long term.
not advocating saying whatever comes to mind or giving feedback to anyone at
any time. I am advocating that you be observant and thoughtful about what
feedback you might give to people to whom you are committed. In particular, you
want to do something about patterns because they not only disrupt the group,
but the pattern lessens the group’s respect for the person.
you trust yourself, trust the other person, and trust the conversation, it will
years of experience as a personal effectiveness consultant and corporate
trainer. He has spent the last 15 years designing and leading programs that
enhance individual and group performance within large organizations. He is
also the author of the new book, Meetings Matter: 8 Powerful Strategies for Remarkable