We've all seen bad meeting behavior, but do you know what to do? Donna Schilder shares five power steps for leaders and facilitators to get us towards a better meeting.
Donna Schilder (LinkedIn)
Leadership, Career, and Business Coach
1. What are some types bad meeting behavior we often see?
- Late arrivers
- Side Conversationalists
- Note Passers
- Chronic objectors
- Off-the-wall commenters
- Eye rollers
- Personal attackers
2. How can leaders identify disruptive behaviors as they happen?
- Realize that your job is to create the agenda, lead the participants through the agenda, but also, to watch for and facilitate behaviors that prevent the meeting from being as successful as it can be.
- Now that you are more focused on what they are, you can watch for these disruptive behaviors.
- Scrutinize and reflect on meetings that don’t seem to be as productive as they should be.
- Watch for other people’s reactions.
- Are they rolling their eyes, sighing, showing signs of frustration, shuffling in their seats?
3. How can a leader intervene in disruptive behaviors in meetings?
- For Side Conversationalists, Ramblers, Multi-Taskers, Note Passers, Eye Rollers, Off-the-Wall Commenters, & Eye Rollers: Use non-verbal cues
- For all behaviors: Acknowledge and reinforce acceptable behavior
- For Late Arrivers, Dominators, Ramblers, Gate Closers, and really any behaviors:
- Review Ground Rules for Effective Meeting Behavior
- Don’t interrupt others, encourage new ideas, don’t be late
- Encourage shared responsibility for handling disruptive behavior
- For Ramblers or if new topics just come up:
- Use a Hold Bin when the meeting gets off topic
- For Non-Participators:
- Round Robin – always allow people to pass
- Invite people into the conversation
- For some of the more difficult behaviors, like Dominators or Personal Attackers:
- Utilize team feedback tools
- Plus Delta
- Team Effectiveness Surveys
- Use firm but friendly confrontation
4. What is firm but friendly confrontation?
This is in order from the lightest intervention to the strongest intervention. Tread cautiously with the strong
- General Question: Does anyone else feel we are digressing?
- Specific Question: For a side conversation: Andrea, do you have anything to add?
- General statement (no names): We had agreed as a team that we would be on time to this meeting
- General statement (looking at the person): Not everyone here seems to be open to new ideas
- Specific statement: Joe, you seem to be objecting to this idea.
5. When should a leader Take it Offline?
Visit Donna's detailed notes and downloadable PDF
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