Continued from page 1
Use this approach with moderation and support it with complimentary requests for assistance. Ignoring someone conveys disapproval, which could change a potential ally into an adversary.
Approach 5: One point at a time
Sometimes dominant participants will control a discussion by listing many points in a single statement. They cite every challenge, condition, and consideration known, which completely clogs everyone else's thinking. End this by asking participants to state only one point at a time, after which someone else speaks. It is very difficult to monopolize a discussion when this technique prevails.
Quiet participants often hope to be ignored; dominant participants want to be noticed. A quiet person may feel overbearing after making two statements in an hour. A dominant participant may feel left out after contributing only 95% of ideas. You will be most successful moderating dominant participants by building bridges between what they want and what you need.
Approach 6: Interrupt with "excuse me"
Use words "excuse me" as a wedge to interrupt a long monologue. It's important that you say "Excuse me" with polite sincerity. For example, you could say:
"Excuse me, this seems interesting and I wonder if you could tell me how it relates to our meeting."
"Excuse me, I'm sure this is very important and since we have only five minutes left for this issue, I wonder if you could summarize your main point."
Use these techniques to hold effective meetings by moderating contributions from more outspoken participants.
This is fifth of a seven part article on Managing Monsters in Meetings.
IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye works with leaders who want to hold effective meeting. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.stevekaye.com. Call 714-528-1300 or visit his web site for over 100 pages of valuable ideas.