Is There A 2 Minute Warning In College Football Managing the Meeting From Hell! Facilitation Techniques to Manage Three Dysfunctional Personalities

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Managing the Meeting From Hell! Facilitation Techniques to Manage Three Dysfunctional Personalities

Sherry couldn’t help but think about her last team meeting as she walked down the hall to her office. Slamming the door to her office behind her, she let out an angry scream and searched for something! Her team drove her absolutely crazy and she choked Scarlett O’Hara when she announced, “I will never have a meeting like this again!” Her problems boiled down to three really difficult personalities that kept recurring on her team. These personalities were truly a cancer that not only infected the team and its results, but spread throughout the team and infected other team members as well.

Sheri needs an antidote… now!

Here’s a little help for Sherry…and for you! Let’s explore these common negative personalities and how to manage them effectively.

– Dominator

We’ve all experienced it “government” one way or another. Some people tend to prefer discussion because they are excited and overzealous. These can really be valuable team members if we can find the right approaches to harness and manage this positive energy. Unfortunately, most of us are more likely to deal with the other dominant type – the overly aggressive and abusive personality who tramples on other people’s comments and may try to completely hijack the meeting! Sometimes, these dominators are extremely negative (“It will never work here!”). and other times they won’t let anyone else get a word in a foreign language. In any case, dominators can definitely reduce not only the effectiveness of the meeting, but also the morale of the team.

Effective dominator management techniques…

– Thank the moderator for their feedback and ask others (eg “Steven, that’s an interesting idea. Let’s see if others have suggestions.”) §

– Repeat the dominator’s comment, write it prominently for everyone to see, and then ask for other opinions to complete the list. (eg “Steven, it sounds like you’re recommending that we use these three vendors as our shortlist…is that correct? That’s a great suggestion. Let’s make a list of a few suggestions, then discuss them all. We’ll list your suggestions. suggestion as “A” on the list. I’d like to get at least three more suggestions from the team. What do others think?)

– Instead of having the group respond verbally to an issue, ask them to take 2 minutes to write down their ideas, issues or recommendations on a post. Then ask each person to share a comment they wrote.

– Advise the group to use the circular technique (go around the house and ask each person to comment) and start at the opposite end of the table from the dominator (eg. “This is an important issue that I want to make sure I get everyone’s ideas. Let’s start with a quick round from Jill…”)

– Call a few people you haven’t heard from (eg “Michael, what do you think about this?”)

– Take a break and request offline dominator support (“Stephen, you’ve made some great points. I hope some of the other team members join the discussion to hear their opinions. Some team members aren’t as demanding, but I’d sure like to hear from them.”)

– Divide the group into pairs or trios and let them discuss the issue in smaller groups before starting the big group discussion.

– Agree with your team on using a physical object (e.g. a sponge football) to balance the argument. The person holding the football has the floor and they must throw it to someone else after making their point.

– MultiTasker

We are seeing more and more multiplayers in our meetings. Aptly named, they are the ones whose attention is constantly between the meeting leader and any other distractions (eg PDA, laptop, reading materials, etc.). Indeed, the multiplier is physically present, but mentally elsewhere.

Effective MultiTasker Management Techniques…

– In the first few meetings, bring the issue up to the group and decide as a group how you want to deal with technology distractions… options may include.

– Using the “tech drop box” in front of the meeting room and agreeing to it before the start of the meeting

– Limiting meeting time to one hour to ensure participants don’t stay away for too long

– According to 15 minutes technology breaks every hour

– Participants bring a friend to “cover” for them in case they have to go out on a call

– Use facilitation techniques that actively engage participants

– Color

– active inquiry

– Approximation diagram

– Subgroup work

– Point voting

– Use a circular or U-shaped room setup that allows you to easily move around (and near) different participants

– During the meeting, agree on a light penalty for texting, emailing, etc… one group used a PDA jar and any violators had to pay $5/violation. (The money was later used for team lunch)

– Rambler

The Rambler can seriously disrupt a meeting with his long, drawn-out, rambling comments. Often, helicopters land in areas that bear little resemblance to the subject in question. A rambler can not only significantly extend the length of a meeting, but also completely change the content of the meeting – thereby reducing team effectiveness. and efficiency.

Rambler effective management techniques…

– Have a printed newspaper in the room (on a flip chart or white board). When the conversation gets off topic, stand up and point to a specific topic on the agenda to focus the group.

– Include time for each section of the agenda so you can focus the group on the time allotted for each discussion point. Perhaps ask someone on the team to give a 5-minute warning before the scheduled end time for each section of the paper.

– Simply raise your hand and interrupt the discussion to ask if the conversation is on topic and helps the group achieve the meeting’s goal. (“Guys, let me step in for a moment to ask if the salesperson’s discussion is appropriate for this particular section of the paper?”)

– Introduce parking at the beginning of the meeting and announce that you are stopping the discussion to place each point of discussion in the parking lot to get the group on track. ((Jill, I understand that you feel strongly about inventory control, but I’m wondering if we should deal with this now, or if we can put it in the parking lot?) At the end of the meeting, review all parking items and assign action items for each.

– Appoint someone on the team to act as the “competition police” (use a sign if necessary). This person is responsible for raising their hand whenever the discussion goes off topic.

– Consider using the ELMO technique. ELMO = “Everyone, let’s go!” Whenever someone in the group feels like the group is getting too rambunctious, they wait to pick up the ELMO doll (in the center of the table).

Copyright 2009 Professionalism Matters, Inc.

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